So let's be real here, friends.
The school year so far has not been as easy as we would have hoped.
There have been moments of tears and days of uncertainty.
I'm learning a new role, trying to finish up some unfinished items from last school year, and share my vision with my staff and students.
I've not once regretted jumping from the classroom to this new leadership position, but there have definitely been some moments where I have questioned if I am making the right decisions and sharing the right information.
It has been wonderful and challenging and fulfilling and difficult.
The last two weeks were especially trying.
I had meeting after meeting after meeting. Some were in the building, but others were out-of-district.
One of the out-of-district meetings was on a day it was pouring down snow and we drove very carefully all the way to the district that ended up calling school off early because of the treacherous road conditions.
Another one was the experience you might remember reading about, where we accidentally drove half an hour in the whole wrong direction before even picking up our third passenger.
On the days I was in the building for meetings, they weren't all "by the book" simple discussions. They involved lots of problem-solving and a few hard conversations.
The week before Thanksgiving was pretty emotionally exhausting and I think I was looking forward to the holiday break more than I ever have in my teaching career.
And the break did not disappoint.
Saturday we had a dinner at my parents' house, then went to see Santa that evening.
Sunday after church, we had Thanksgiving dinner at our house, in the midst of a blizzard warning.
When everyone left Sunday evening, I was exhausted, but mentally and emotionally refreshed and feeling thankful...ready to take on the rest of second quarter.
At 6:00, I got a text message...snow day on Monday.
It was an unexpected surprise and the girls and I were equally excited.
After that text message, we decided to decorate the Christmas Tree and watch "Home Alone" while eating popcorn.
Then last night, we got another phone call...snow day on Tuesday.
Thank You, Lord, for forcing me to stay home and slow down.
It has been necessary and I'm not sure I would have taken the time to enjoy the Christmas decorating process with the girls had we not had these two days off.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and emotionally spent, take some time today or tonight to just sit and enjoy your home...to enjoy your family...to enjoy the beauty of snow.
You must pour into yourself before pouring into others.
Happy Snow Day from the farmhouse, friends.
Over the last week, I have had three separate situations that have been less than ideal.
And yet, in all three instances, I was able to find humor.
Last Tuesday morning, we had a 10:00 a.m. start at school because of the temperatures. However, I had to be to school for a meeting around 7:00 a.m. I rolled into the parking lot and got out of my vehicle at 7:03. The meeting was supposed to start at 7:15 and I was feeling good about being there early.
As I headed towards the school building, I stepped down off of the curb onto one of the only patches of ice in the parking lot. I went down to the ground and I went down fast. I fell straight forward and as I tried to save my Sonic drink, my right elbow took the brunt of my fall.
Because there were two witnesses to the humiliating experience, I bounced right up and pretended like everything was fine. I had smashed my cup under the weight of my body and I was soaking wet with ice cold water and bits of strawberry all over my coat. I started the trek into the building and that is when a thought popped into my head.
We have surveillance cameras that will have caught this entire disastrous situation.
We got through our meeting and I immediately headed down to my colleague's office to pull up the camera footage and have a look.
It was awful.
It was terrible.
It was absolutely hilarious.
We laughed and laughed and laughed. We called our coworkers and I sent the file via text to my family. I ended up posting the video on Facebook and it has gotten over 1,800 hits, so far.
It was a painful situation that turned into an almost joyful occasion for everyone who got to witness it.
I’m sharing the video here to give you a laugh if you didn't get to see it on my Facebook page.
Wednesday morning, although I woke up sore from the fall, I knew I needed to leave the house by 5:50 to make it to the school by 6:30 to leave for a conference. I walked outside at 5:40 to start the car and Mr. Farmhouse asked me to start his truck also.
"Sure," I mumbled, as I faced the freezing temps on the deck.
I got my vehicle started and went to his old farm truck.
It's a manual. The parking brake apparently doesn't work all the time. AND the little map of what gear you are in is all worn off the gear-shifter.
So I get the truck started and try to put on the emergency brake. Nothing.
I take my foot off the clutch and start to roll.
Try the brake. Nothing. Roll.
I repeated this process AT LEAST 15 times.
No matter how far I moved up or back, I couldn't find a flat enough place to keep the truck from rolling.
I didn't have my cell phone on me to call Mr. Farmhouse and see what his advice would be, so I started honking the horn.
You have to understand that the horn DOES NOT HONK like a normal horn. It sounds like Beaker off the Muppets.
I honked and honked and honked...no response from Mr. Farmhouse.
I tried the parking brake about ten more times and FINALLY it took.
I got back inside and looked at Mr. Farmhouse.
Me: Could you not hear me for the last 15 minutes honking the horn on the feed truck?
Mr. Farmhouse: Oh, is that what that noise was?
Me: Uh, yeah. The parking brake wouldn't stick.
Mr. Farmhouse: Yeah, it does that sometimes. It's so annoying.
Me: Yes, yes it is. And now I'm almost twenty minutes later than I wanted to be.
Mr. Farmhouse: Not good.
I got the girls in my vehicle (that was PLENTY warm at this point) and I dropped them off to my parents.
And then I started laughing.
The mental image and leftover soreness from the fall the previous day, combined with the situation of me literally being stuck in the feed truck for 20 minutes with no help just got to me.
I giggled almost all the way to work to meet my coworker that I needed to go to the meeting with (I was only three minutes late!).
At this time, we hopped into the car quickly (no icy parking lot this time, thank goodness!) and headed north to pick up another colleague.
We put his home address into Google Maps and started following the directions.
The navigation system took us northeast of the school about 35 minutes and when we pulled into the driveway, nobody came out.
We assessed the situation.
We were in the driveway of a house (I thought this coworker lived in an apartment).
An unfamiliar car in the driveway.
Christmas lights on the porch.
I called him. No answer.
I thought I remembered this coworker living in Overland Park...not Grandview.
So we accepted the fact that GPS has led us astray and we started heading in the opposite direction of where we needed to go.
I kept trying to call and text our coworker, but to no avail.
We hit MAJOR rush hour traffic going west on I-435 and we had resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to be late.
The driver who I was riding with was NOT happy.
He is ALWAYS at least 20 minutes early when he needs to go somewhere. He is prompt for every meeting and it makes him crazy to walk in late somewhere.
So the fact that we were sitting in traffic facing west when our meeting was east just struck me as funny.
I started giggling and looked over at him.
Not even a crack of a smile.
Which made it even funnier to me.
I ended up Facetiming Mr. Farmhouse to share our situation with him and he didn't think it was funny...until I turned the camera to Mr. Grumpy Pants in the driver's seat.
Still no smile.
Now I absolutely cannot control the laughter.
The elbow pain from my fall the previous morning,
the 15-minutes in the feed truck rolling frontwards and backwards as I tried to engage the parking brake,
and now the mix-up on the address of our co-worker.
It was all too much.
And then my cell phone rang.
It was the guy we were picking up.
Me: Hey! You finally found your phone and saw my missed calls and text messages! We got a little mixed up, but I think we're headed to your house now. What city do you live in? The address didn't have a town listed on there.
Coworker: It's actually a KCMO address, but basically Grandview.
Me: Uh. Do you have a little brown car in the driveway and Christmas lights on your porch?
Coworker: That's the one...are you here?
Me: Not exactly. Give us half an hour.
Driver: You've got to be kidding me.
Sometimes you just have to laugh.
Still laughing in the farmhouse a week later,
There are 56 days left in 2018.
A few friends and I have been following along with Rachel Hollis's "Last 90 Days", where she has challenged people to make the last 90 days of the year count.
Well, I was successful in following her "Five to Thrive" for about 15 out of 31 days in October.
And now...that 90 days has dwindled down to 56 days.
So this weekend, I've taken some time to regroup and do some planning for the next two months.
The girls and I did some deep-cleaning in our bedrooms and the rest of the house.
I planned out our meals for the next few weeks.
We set some goals for ourselves and made a commitment to make these last few months of the year meaningful.
If you're feeling like things have gotten out-of-control and you just want to gain some peace and calm in the near future, feel free to join me in building some habits in the next 56 days that will help us to enjoy the holiday season.
More info to come in the morning.
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