Friday, July 16, 2010

Good-byes: they DON'T get easier each time

Well yesterday, I said good-bye to my brother yet again. This time, it is going to be worse than when he was at basic training; I don't know when I will get to see him again, or how often I will get to talk to him. I know this is a part of his gig, a part of him growing into a man, and a part of life, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Yesterday he came down to spend the day with me; I am so lucky that my younger brother still enjoys hanging out with his big sister. He was a big help in my classroom as he hung curtains, made a large welcome sign (he & my sister are both more artistic than me), moved furniture, and helped organize. Although it was a working kind of day, it was nice to just be in a room just the two of us. We talked about what he is looking forward to, his fears, and what the future might hold for him.

After working in my classroom for several hours, we came home and relaxed and then went out for our "Last Supper". I then had a GOTR meeting, and he had to get home so he could get to the Navy office today, but he also took Bailey back to my mom's for us so she could watch her while we are on vacation.

Saying good-bye this time was much harder than when he left for bootcamp. With bootcamp, there was an end date; I knew when I would get to see him again. With A-School, he was in Chicago, so it wasn't far and he could come often. Now this new transition is a new challenge. He will be stationed in Norfolk, Virgina, and well, that isn't too far away, but there is more to this. Yes, Norfolk is close and we could easily drive there for Christmas or Thanksgiving, but when those Holidays come around, he won't be there. His ship is on a world tour right now, so as soon as he gets to Norfolk he will fly out to where his ship is and be there for about a year. Yes, that is right a year; I will not see my brother for a year! I know people do this all the time, and some do this with their husbands or wives, and to me that is incredible! I won't get to to celebrate his 21st birthday with him, see him on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just on a random weekend. I know in my heart that he will be just fine, and this is a part of life, but regardless of where we are in our lives, he is still my little brother, and as a big sister I will always have this feeling.

Although, I am feeling sadness for the lack of visits we will have in the next year, I am very excited for him. He will get to do things most people will never experience in their lifetime. He will get to be on this ship and enter different countries; the different types of cultures he will get to experience will be an indescribable experience. In one year, he will get to visit more countries and see more sites than most people do in their lifetime. So, although I will miss him, I know that is very selfish because this is going to be an incredible experience for him. I am excited to see the ways in which he grows even more in the next year.

So, here is a quick last note to my Sailor brother:

Dear Zachary,

Yesterday was hard, yesterday was very hard! As I sit here and write this while icing my legs, I still feel a lump in my throat, a pit in my stomach, and an overall feeling of sadness to know that it is going to be a very long time until I see you again. I have told you over and over how proud I am of the man you have become, and this still holds true today. I am envious of the experiences you will have in the next year and am extremely anxious to hear about all your endeavors, and to see how these new experiences will have shape you into an even more well-rounded man. This will be the longest I have ever gone without seeing you, but in my heart, I know it is okay. It is all a part of growing up, right? At least that is what I tell myself in order to stop the tears. From the day you were born, you have meant so much to me, and 20 years and 9 months later that hasn't changed one bit. I treasure all the time we have had together over the years, and especially the time I was able to see you while you were on leave. I look forward to seeing you again, no matter when that may be.

My advice to you, you know I have to since I am the big sis, is to simply, ENJOY! There is no other time in your life that you are going to be able to see the world from a boat! There is so much to learn from other cultures, so when you get to go into different cities, take it all in and see as much as you can. Always know that we will be thinking about you and praying for your safe journey. When you get home, we will celebrate your 21st birthday New Haven style! I love you, Z!!

Love always,

Your big sis
Me, Zach and Court @ the Zac Brown Band concert- what a great night with my favorites!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Half Way There

At the beginning of 2010, I made a goal for myself to read 20 books this year! I love to read and have always loved to read, but tend to only read during summer and breaks off from work. So, it was my goal to read during the school year too; of course I am talking about for pleasure and not all of the professional books and resources that I read.

Yesterday, I finished my 10th book- I am halfway to my goal! My 10th book was House Rules by Jodi Picoult. If you look at my book list, you can see that I read her books often because they are exceptional; this book was no exception. Her writing amazes me because it is evident that she has to do some much research to write the majority of her books. Many of her topics are very controversial. This book was about an 18 year old boy who was on the Autism Spectrum, Aspergers to be exact, and was accused of murdering his tutor. As a teacher I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although fiction of course, I learned things I didn't know about Aspergers.

So, if you are looking for a new read, I suggest you pick up this book, and then let me know what you think.

Until next time,

H =)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Routines: not just for kids

As my summer break comes to a close, for the first time in my life I feel like it is okay. I am not sure why this is the case; maybe it is because this is the first summer I didn't have another gig or maybe it is because I am excited about the change in my career. However, I am really starting to believe that it is because I am such a creature of habit, and just like my students, I function better when I am in a set routine.

This summer I have found myself staying up later, sleeping later, taking more naps, waking up in the middle of the night, and eating worse. Now, some of this could be because of my lack of running for the past three weeks, but I believe a lot of it is from lack of routine.

For all of you 52-week-workers, I am not complaining one bit about having my summer off of work. In fact, I love it. By the end of the school year, I definitely need some time to myself away from my students, my classroom and time to reflect on my choices and effectiveness as a teacher. The summer also provides me with an opportunity to regroup for the new incoming group of students and prepare for the year ahead. However, my school district has moved to a new calendar that we are calling the blended calendar; we have a shorter summer and more breaks throughout the school year. For me this works perfectly because at this moment in time, I am ready to go back to work- my summer has been long enough. But I know that come October I will need another break; good thing I will now have two weeks in October!

For me summer is also a time of constantly being "on the go". Mr. Hoosier and I have not spent a single weekend here at home in the month of July. I feel like during the summer, our weekends fill so quickly and there isn't time to just "breathe". Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that we are able to do so many things with friends and family, but there are times where I just love being at home.

So, as I sit in our office this morning drinking my coffee and eating my oatmeal, I have already gotten a 50 minute run in, showered, and after this blog, I will be on my way into my classroom to get some work done. Besides next week when we are on vacation in California, there will be no more haphazard routines. I am excited to get back into a routine. I am excited for a typical Sunday at the Preppy Hoosier Household: church, gym for me to teach, grocery store, pot of soup on the stove, and relaxation for the rest of the day.

For the first time in my life, I realize now why a routine is so important to not just my special needs students, but all students; it is important to me too as a 26 year old. So as many adults and kids complain about going back to school, I am ready! I am ready to bring on 30 new 5th graders and my daily routine. Not to mention, I love new school supplies :)

Until next time,

H =)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Weekend in Chicago

I just love Chicago! This past weekend, Mr. Hoosier and I spent the weekend in Chicago. We had a fabulous time. We were able to watch the Cubs beat the Reds 3-0, I saw Ed from Jillian's season of the Bachelorette, indulge in a lot of delicious food, watch the fireworks from the rooftop, and most importantly spend quality time with my dear friend, Christina.

Here are the some highlights from the weekend...
Mr. Hoosier and I after a W!!!

For those Bachelor/Bachelorette fans, here is Ed from Jillian's season. Yes, I ran into him at Wrigley Field, and clearly didn't feel ashamed to stop and ask for a picture!

We spent all Sunday afternoon at the beach!!

The fourth of July marks only 4 more weeks until I return to work with my students! It has been a great summer, but boy has it gone fast! As for the rest of the summer, boy oh boy it is going to be busy. This week, I am going back home to attend the Zack Brown Band Concert with my family. My brother is on leave from the the Navy right now so it will be great to see him. This weekend, we will also be going home so that Mr. Hoosier can see him before he leaves for Norfolk. Then, next week, on Friday, we leave for California. In between all of this, I need to get into school and begin setting up my new classroom.

Until next time,

H =)