Sunday, May 24, 2015

I did it! #gradschoolmama now #masstersmama

On May 15th, I received a Master of Science in Education with a major in Reading. This was after three years of hard work, lots of tears, and many sleepless nights. I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of myself!

My family has been my biggest cheerleaders during this time. Their understanding, support, and encouragement kept me going when I wanted to give up. They told me that I was capable when I felt like I was going to fail. I honestly didn't know how I was going to make it through this last semester. With their love and gentle shoves to keep going, I not only graduated, but I did so with straight As! Yes, I earned every point of that 4.0 GPA!

The DOC (diabetes online community) has been a constant support during this time as well. I found out that the hashtag #youcandothis is not just relevant to diabetes management, but all parts of my life. When I felt discouraged, I knew that there were others facing obstacles, too. Many were far more challenging. If they could do it, so could I.

What's next? For starters, this summer will be dedicated to my family. I will not be taking classes or tutoring. We will be hanging out, gardening, reading, and just relaxing together. Of course I will be attending MasterLab in July, but they're understanding and supportive of my diabetes advocacy work. In August I will be setting up my classroom for the year, something I'm looking forward to doing (and some of my kids have asked to help).  I have decided that I will wait a year before even considering the idea of taking anymore graduate level classes. I'm not sure what I want to do next, but for now I'm going to enjoy where I am.

My blog has also been neglected, so I plan to start posting again on a more regular basis. Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

MasterLab 2015: Save the Date!

Last year I attended MasterLab in Orlando, FL thanks to a scholarship from Diabetes Hands Foundation (see disclaimer below). Well I am excited to share that I will be going to MasterLab again this year (recycled disclaimer, but even more excited this year!). This is an amazing opportunity for anyone affected by diabetes, regardless of type, to get together and talk about advocacy. Caregivers and patient advocates working side by side. It doesn't matter what type since we're all in this together.

If you want to read more about last year's event, click on "MasterLab" at the end of my post under labels. I even have links to other blogs describing their experiences!

July 7 and 8 are the dates for MasterLab 2015.  (Click for more information)

MasterLab 2014
We're all in this together - regardless of type!

Disclaimer: I have been offered a scholarship by the Diabetes Hands Foundation as part of my participation in the Diabetes Advocates program to attend the MasterLab. My travel, conference fees, and hotel are being covered by the scholarship, but the opinions and ideas (as well as excitement and anticipation) I will report on are my own.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Snow Day Workout

(Written two weeks ago, but forgot to publish. I'm still proud of this, so I'm going to publish it! So "today" actually was two weeks ago.)

Today the school district where I work had a snow day due to low wind chill temperatures, but my kids had school (delayed start). On previous days like today, I'd drop off my kids at school then head to a local coffee shop café. This place is family owned and like Cheers but with coffee instead of beer. With great conversation and free Wifi, I typically spend the morning there.

However today I had a better plan.

Instead of going to the restaurant, I went to the YMCA. I walked 3.2 miles! WOOHOO!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Resolution or Promise?

Wow! It's 2015! It doesn't seem possible! Time seems to fly by so quickly. Yes, I know it's actually January 2nd. See how quickly time flies by?

Many people make resolutions. So many of those resolutions are broken. Hey, it's kind of an unwritten rule that people expect resolutions to be broken. Therefore I am not planning to making any. 

Instead I'm making a promise. A promise to myself, my family, my friends, my coworkers, my students, and anyone else I may deal with during my days. 

My promise is to love. I promise to love those around me: family, friends, coworkers, students, everyone. 

Most of all, I promise to love myself. 

Some days are easier than others. To love myself, I need to take care of myself. Physically and emotionally. I need to forgive myself when I make mistakes. I need to let myself have some down time, but I also need to work hard. 

Here's to a year of love! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Diabetic Teacher

At the end of the day.
Tired but happy!
I've been teaching full-time for a little over a month now. I will say that I love it more each day! I know I'm doing what I was called to do. My students are amazing and my colleagues are helpful and supportive. Honestly I couldn't be happier. At least with my job.

My diabetes management has taken a back burner lately. With my previous job, I was able to plan out when to test. I did reading intervention which meant working with small groups of kids throughout the day. I knew that between certain groups I'd test in the morning and another time between groups is when I'd test after lunch. With my new position, I'm still trying to figure that out.

I'm also needing to figure out a new exercise schedule. I went from a five minute commute to 35 minutes, which cuts into my previous workout schedule. Thankfully I've been able to maintain at my goal weight, but I still need to find the time... umm... make the time... to exercise.

It's definitely a juggling act when trying to live a normal life with diabetes. This isn't normal for most of the population. Most teachers don't have glucose tablets in their desk in case of a possible low while teaching a lesson with energetic children. Most teachers don't have to figure out in their schedule when they can test or get a snack.

It's not easy, but it's totally worth it!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Following a Dream

Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to be a teacher. When we'd play school, I was always the teacher. I played with the idea of being a lawyer. (Anyone remember The Paper Chase on Showtime? ) I even thought about being an author at one time. However, I kept coming back to becoming a teacher.

I did major in elementary education and graduated. Hubby and I got married before I had completed my student teaching, which I did shortly after we were married. Our oldest child was born two months later. That's when my career plans took a drastic change. I decided to be a stay-at-home mom.

Well, fast forward 17 years. Our fifth child started kindergarten and I started my time as a substitute teacher. Those years and motherhood helped to build up my confidence. I went from the student teacher who needed to work on classroom management to the substitute that was requested based on being "a strong sub." Last year I was hired as a program assistant (aka teacher's aide or paraprofessional) doing reading intervention and helping with sixth grade choir.

Recently, I interviewed for a second grade teacher position in a neighboring district. A job I wasn't sure about because of the half hour drive through the country. However, getting to know those on the interview committee got me excited about the prospect. I was offered the position which I started this week.

I am following my dream!

My parents sent me flowers and my brother sent me dry erase markers as well as self-inking teacher stamps. Their acts of support and encouragement meant more to me than I can describe here. 

The class is wonderful. A great group of students! The teacher I'm replacing is moving into another position within the school, so we were able to work together to gradually transition the class. The other teachers have been extremely friendly and helpful. The drive has been a great time for reflection and decompression. 

My children are excited for me and proud of their mother. Hubby is extremely supportive. I love my job! That is the dream!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is It Worth It?

I have Type 2 diabetes. I am diet and exercise controlled.

Is it worth it?

This morning I went for a two mile walk.

Is it worth it?

Today, my family had breaded ravioli for lunch. I had a salad, a protein shake, and two raviolis without sauce.

Is it worth it?

While my family had burgers and fries, I had another salad with grilled chicken for dinner.

Is it worth it?

Although I've told my doctor that I have no problem with being on medication or even insulin if needed for my diabetes management, knowing that with healthy eating and exercise I can keep my glucose levels under control (for the most part) makes me happy. When the day comes where I wind up on medication and/or insulin that helps me manage my diabetes, I'll still be happy.

Is it worth it?

I have a husband and five children that depend on me.

Is it worth it?