January 30, 2016

6 on Saturday

Okay, so I'm behind again. Don't judge me. I had a post ready for yesterday, but had the busiest day on earth. The Marsh got their monies worth out of me! So, today let's talk about what's going on.


Doing: Watching Mr. L's Krav Maga Level 4 Test. He's had some blood pressure issues going on so I'm here to be the blood pressure police. I will say it makes me miss doing Krav....a little.

Reading: The Heart Led Leader. It's so good! I'm not quite done because I haven't had a lot of time to read lately, but so far I'm really loving this book. I received it from Blogging for Books, and I am SO happy I did! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to take a new approach to leadership. You can find more information about it here.

Eating: Leaves. Just kidding, but that's kind of how it feels. I told you guys how I was doing an elimination diet for my digestive issues and actually it's been going really well. I've felt great the last month. Now that I'm done with the elimination part I can start slowly start reintroducing things to see how my body reacts. Here is one of the meals I made myself in the last few weeks. Coconut chicken, roasted sweet potato and egg plant, with a pineapple sauce to dip in. It was pretty great!

Watching: I don't want to admit this. But somehow I've gotten sucked into Vanderpump Rules. It's totally a love/hate relationship; I hate myself for loving this show. It's definitely sucked me in though. I worked in 2 bar/restaurants while I was in college and grad school so the stuff that happens at Sur makes me laugh.

Crafting: This DIY wall hanging. I LOVE the final product and can't wait to get it hung up! My vision for this is to also make one with Michigan on it (where Mr. L is from) then a Florida one for where we're at now!

Loving: Rooney. This girl is my spirit animal. No lie. She's so sassy, but so smart. I adore her, even when she does things like this.

And there you have it! Happy Saturday people!
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January 26, 2016

Confessions of a Middle School Counselor

When I hear the word confession I immediately think: secret and juicy. Ugh stop it, I know. I've watched too many episodes of every reality TV show that has a confessional booth. It's either that or I immediately want to start singing these are my confessions..........and that wouldn't be pretty.

Lucky you, I'll spare you the song and get straight to the juicy part.

Take a minute to think back to your school counselor growing up. Yeah, knock the cobwebs off that memory. I can pretty much picture several and could probably say hi to them by name if I were to see them at the store.....what can I say, teenaging was hard for me. Anyways, I'm sure you can think of at least one. Now think of some stuff you remember about them.

I remember very clearly one of my counselors growing up was smiley, kind, warm-hearted, very patient, etc. I could go on and on. The point is that a lot of times when I have conversations with people about school counselors they say similar types of things. Being a school counselor is kind of a type, like a specific mentality. School counselors seem to sense things that others can't. They can lift a ton of bricks, so to speak, off a child's chest in a matter of moments. Okay, keep all those warm, fuzzy, positive things in mind.

Because now I confess....

I dislike the face poster. (Trying to not be super dramatic and say hate.) But really. It's a poster with a cartoon drawn on it in a bunch of different facial expressions. As a child I thought it was cool, and I have to give a double confession on this one-I think I had my very own one at one time. However, as an adult I worry. What if someone's face really does make one of these expressions? Wouldn't that be real problem?

There has been more than one occasion that I've wanted to adopt a student and raise them as my own. Working this closely with kids is very rewarding, but it can also be very hard. Hearing firsthand what some students go through outside of school breaks my heart. Imagine watching the end of Marley and Me over and over and over..... okay so it's not that sad ALL the time. But sometimes it is. Just remember- counselors get the feels too sometimes.

I almost walked in on a student in the restroom. If this isn't embarrassing enough, let me add that it was also one of my co-workers children. To make a long story short, said student was using the restroom with the door unlocked and did not acknowledge my knock on the door. Therefore, I opened the door. Thank the Lord in the Heavens above that I did not see anything but a shocked facial expression because I screamed and slammed the door shut faster than I think I've ever moved in my life. Completely terrifying.
My face.
I could double as my school's interior designer. Who knew being on ladders, drawing murals, painting on walls, and some random Tim Taylor circa 1995 Home Improvement type stuff would be part of my job as a school counselor? It's not, but my boss is awesome and gives me a lot of flexibility in creating an awesome leadership environment in our school. Current project: ceiling tiles.

And lastly for today,
I may or may not have called a student an "F-head". Read that like it's written. The actual "F" word was not said. Let me fill you in. My co-counselor and I jokingly told some kids to quit being "trouble-heads" when they got in trouble. Fast forward to an academic review with a student. The student has several failing grades and.....out comes "you've got some work to do, F-head." Bone.Head. It made sense in my mind.

Sorry I've been M.I.A. lately, I feel like I've been living in the death pit of germs around here between Mr. L getting sick, then me getting sick and trying to heal my pirate eye. But don't worry, I think I might actually be on the mend now.
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January 17, 2016

Dear Clumsy Girl, You are not alone.

Hey you with the injury,

Yes you. You know who you are.

You're the girl with the random, inexplicable, oddly shaped bruises. The one that's asked constantly how she got hurt, but isn't always sure. If you aren't her, you know of her. The girl who can trip up the stairs or even over that huge pile of thin air.

Don't worry clumsy girl, I'm here to let you know something really special: YOU AREN'T ALONE.
Wanna know how I know?

Because I am you. I'm not just a self-proclaimed clumsy girl anymore either, I've now gathered quite the following of people who find my clumsiness entertaining. Oh, you want to hear my laundry list of harmful or potentially harmful incidents? Ok fine, if you're going to beg I'll share.

Starting as far back as I can remember, I:

choked on a piece of candy (that I found behind the couch).
busted my head open from running through a linoleum kitchen with socks on (still have the scar on my eyebrow to prove it).
flew over the handle bars on my bike and basically kissed the pavement with my whole face (doctor wasn't sure if my two front teeth would grow in correctly after that one; luckily they did.
broke my wrist from a roller skating incident.
broke my big toe from stubbing it on the living room carpet.
broke my finger from diving back into 1st base while playing softball.
got 5 stitches from cutting my finger while opening a can of cat food.
obtained another broken finger from slamming the deep freezer door on it (My dad might have helped with this one.)

If I actually sat down to think this through I truly believe I could go on for quite a while. Instead I'll fast forward to my most recent unintentional injury. I grabbed a school promotional pamphlet off a co-workers desk and somehow it flew up and cut my eye. I can't make this up. The pamphlet basically attacked me. I had to go to the eye doctor, who asked if I cut my eye with a big piece of cardboard because that's how bad the cut was. No sir, I did not cut it with cardboard. I just happen to be really good at injuring myself with minimal assistance from outside objects.

You're probably wondering what my point of all of this is? It's not just to put myself on blast with all my ridiculous situations. It's to give a very special shoutout to all the other clumsy girls out there. I feel your pain and I know the struggle is very real! Don't get down on yourself clumsy girl, there are tons of us out there who can relate. My advice? I know you didn't ask for it; but embrace who you are, clumsiness and all. And when people say "you are special" consider it a compliment, because you are.

The universe needs people like you.
Saw this shared on Insta and had to share.
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January 09, 2016

6 on Saturday

Remember 2 posts ago when I said I wasn't going to keep a strict schedule or be so hard on myself? Okay good. That's why I have a 6 on Saturday this week. I think middle school students have an alternate meaning for Friday. In my book it means: tie up loose ends, finish a few things on my to do list, and have fun. In theirs I do believe it means: have all the peer conflicts, emergencies, arguments, mental breakdowns, and tears so I have plenty to hold me over the two days I'm off until I'm back with them on Monday.

Tried to get fancy with my photo, didn't work. But my desk gets ridiculous sometimes,
I even moved some papers so it didn't look so crazy.
So yeah, I'm pretty sure they save things up for Fridays so I can't mark anything off my to do list and feel so tired when I get home that I immediately put jammies on and lay on the couch for some Scandal reruns. (Don't judge me.)

Anyways, so I finally got my 2016 goals refined and ready. I don't do resolutions, because well I don't really know why. But these are my "WIGS" (wildly important goals....yes I'm a leadership geek) for the new year. And don't worry, I set several but I bet you can guess how many I am going to share with you today!

Here they are:

Complete an elimination diet successfully.
It's no secret I haven't been feeling well for awhile. Since my body is still stumping the GI doctors, I decided to do an elimination diet to try and figure out if I have any common food allergens that could help me feel better. I'm tracking my progress and plan to share for anyone who is interested. So far I have successfully made it through 5 days. Research says to do it at a minimum of 23 days so your body can reset and you can slowly one by one reintroduce things to see how your body reacts. If anyone has any experience with this I would love to hear it!

Meal prep Sunday, and no the hot sauce is not mine.
That's Mr. L's department.
Save an extra $2,000.
I need to do better at saving period. So this year I plan to buy less stuff and save money up for new experiences for the L's.

Write a detailed book outline proposal.
I've been considering writing a book for years. I have about 808 ideas flowing around in my mind at any given time. I've even written down some barf lists with my ideas too. I just haven't taken the plunge and committed to it yet, but this year I am at least going to pick a topic and write an outline. I could use some guidance from experienced writers out there! Was it hard to commit to a topic?

Take the LMHC licensure exam.
I am roughly half way done with my clinical supervision hours needed prior to applying for my license to be a mental health counselor. I found out in FL you can take the exam prior to being done with the hours so I plan to attempt it at least once this year. Which means- I NEED TO STUDY!

Remodel spare bedroom #2.
This is something I've been wanting to do forever and just bumped it up in importance under my home goals section. I'll take before and after pics!

Can I make a quick addition?

Keep making really pretty faces in pictures.
I think a couple people already captured how photogenic I can be on NYE.

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January 06, 2016

Blue Box Blues

That title really has nothing to do with anything, except the fact that I am doing an elimination diet to see if I have any food allergens and all I can think about is Kraft Mac N Cheese.

On Tuesday at our staff meeting we had a short Leader in Me training focusing on Habit 3 which is "Put First Things First". At the end of the presentation, the teacher presenter gave out paper mache rocks to everyone that all had something important painted on them (i.e. Big Rocks v. Little Rocks). I got a big rock that a student had painted FOOD on. It was meant to be. And obviously whoever created that fabulous rock has their priorities straight. Then I took a second rock because I felt bad. It said family. Now I feel bad for keeping a second rock. Oops.

Anyways, in my last post I told the world that one of the things I'm not going to do this year is raise my voice. I want to be a better counselor which means being a better role model. If I don't want my students running around screaming and yelling like they have no sense then I need to show them it's possible. This leads me to a conversation I had with a student that has been sitting right on my heart for a couple days now.

Rewind to before the conversation. A boy and a girl get in a physical altercation in the cafeteria.

As I was talking to the boy about why he retaliated against the girl he said, "Miss, I can't look like a punk. It's how I grew up. If I ever got hit by someone and I didn't fight back, my mom would send me back out of the house to go fight the kid"

Heart.Broken. Here I am worried about raising my voice to students and at home they're being taught that physical confrontation is always the answer. Okay, I exaggerated the always part, but hear me out. Doesn't it seem like educators are fighting a losing battle sometimes? We're expected to teach kids very specific skills and knowledge, but how can we when we have to start off by teaching them how to behave like a respectable human.

*Note: this doesn't pertain to ALL students or ALL kids, but I do have to say that it pertains to a good chunk of the ones I work with.

That being said, I'm tired. We are 3 days into 2016 and all I want to do is sleep already. Someone tell me I'm not the only person frustrated by this? But, as frustrating and exhausting as this is- I plan to look at it this way my mission of spreading love to those who might not experience it elsewhere is going to come to good use this year.

Oh and parents- quit teaching your kids that fighting is a good solution to their problems. And people wonder why our world is the way it is today.....

2 more days. I will wake up tomorrow with a better attitude, I promise.

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January 01, 2016

I will not...

Happy January 1st everyone! Can't believe 2015 went by so quickly. I have to say the L's had a mostly fabulous 2015. We got to see more family and friends than we have any other year and that really made my heart happy.

Rather than posting a list of New Year's resolutions that I may or may not keep (and because my 2016 goals list isn't quite finished). I decided today since it's also Friday to tell you 5 things I'm NOT going to do in 2015.

Raise my voice.
I find that in any disagreement or argument I've ever been in, the volume of my voice doesn't help solve anything. It doesn't grab the other person's attention, or make my point any stronger. I plan to focus on this a lot at school too. I'd like to lead by example, if I don't want my precious kiddos to grow up thinking it's okay to yell and shout at people then I need to show them it's possible.

Keep a strict schedule.
This doesn't mean I'm not going to keep at a schedule at all, but I am a stickler. If I put something into my schedule it gets done (and a lot of times it gets done before the date I needed it done because I simply cannot procrastinate). This year I plan (see already planning) to be more flexible, to enjoy the spontaneity of life, and to put less things on my schedule so I am able to slow down.

Be so hard on myself.
Listen, my top strength on the StrengthsFinder 2.0 is discipline. Anyone who knows me at all isn't surprised by this. I pride myself on doing things right (actually perfectly) the first time. In the spirit of being more flexible, decreasing my stress level, and just enjoying life more- I am going to change my attitude towards myself just like I work on maintaining a positive attitude towards other people in all situations.

Wake up at 7am EVERY Saturday and Sunday.
The struggle is REAL for this early riser! My internal clock is set to wake up before 8am every day so on Saturdays and Sundays I am usually up and at it around that time as well. On this goal I am going to have to work at it. So I have a back up plan-while I train myself to sleep a little longer, I will take NAPS instead! I feel like that's a great compromise for this one. I'll keep you posted.

Forget to thank God every single day for the life he's allowed me to live.
I can't stress this one enough. I try to thank God frequently, but I'm not perfect (much to my discipline strength's dismay). This year I will thank him every.single.day for this beautiful life he's guided me to.

And there we have it. Keeping it short and sweet on this New Years Day so anyone who's got a headache or seeing double still can keep up. (I am not one of those people, who have I become?! LOL!)

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