Hump day

We went to Chuy’s tonight for Hatch Green Chile Fest– special menu and crazy decorations. It was wonderful.

We sipped our spicy martinis and talked about work. We both had lots of stories. We talked and talked. We ate and ate. Then, we rolled out of there and journeyed home.

I got to work and knocked out some lesson to-do’s pretty quickly. Brian is napping beside me. He needed some shut eye before hitting his evening workload. We’re about to pass each other again– me going to sleep and him waking up to get to work. Sigh.

When we got home, we both talked about how great dinner together out was. It wasn’t date night or anything– just a chance for us to connect and check in. But it was special. So special.

Brian asked very pointed questions about my job and my school life. He is genuinely interested in me and my life. And tonight, he made me feel quite special. And then it got really great when we both geeked out over the podcast we listen to every day from Albert Mohler, and talked about theology and having a Christian worldview. Nerdy, but true.

We connected. We caught up. We smiled and laughed. We filled up on spicy food. Then, we got geeky. Now, I’m going to sleep at 9pm.

Great. Wednesday. Night.

Something outside

Brian and I have been racing around for a couple weeks now.

Tonight was our missional community group, so I couldn’t stay at the school until late (though, I just now finished my lesson and it’s almost midnight– ugh). We had just a few moments to throw together a meal and spend some time together before we went our separate ways (guys and gals met separately tonight), and what did we do with those moments? Well, we got upset with each other.

I kept thinking about it afterwards and it just made me sad. It was all a result of not communicating well with each other. Again. And I feel like I so rarely see my handsome husband these days– so I hate that we squandered some of that time.

Now, we both rebounded quickly and moved on, but I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Brian is on my side– he’s on Team Lundin and so am I. So, why don’t we act like that more? And on a day where I said multiple times that I really need to be intentional where I’m spending my social/free time (since there’s so little of it), why did we waste those moments today?

I know married people do this. I know friends do this. I know that this is normal. But I don’t necessarily want to be normal, here. I would like us to be atypical in this. And the only way I can see that happening is through a lot of prayer. We’re both tired and grouchy, and have brains that are thinking about work when we’re looking at each other. It’s going to take something outside of us to change what’s going on between us.

Four shots

Yup. That’s four shots of espresso in that latte.

This is Brian’s morning latte. I had five shots in mine– not to be competitive or anything… Just saying.

It’s been a long, long week, and this picture pretty much sums it up.

Brian is already snoring. I’m jealous, but someone had to post on the blog. Lucky me ūüėČ

 

It’s still light out

I came home tonight and crashed on the couch. Literally. Brian made me wake up long enough to pick something from a take-out menu on his phone.

When he woke me up a second time, he was coming in the house with take-out. We watched ‘Good Eats’ while devouring our own. With big fat bellies, we both started to sink into the couch. I insisted we both go upstairs.

I had this great moment tonight. I was in the middle of this tremendous yawn and thinking bed soon. Brian was lightly snoring beside me. I was thinking through the evening tasks when I glanced at the clock. It read 7:30pm.

I laughed aloud.

7:30pm. That’s a dinner time. That’s a date time. That’s not a bed time.

But, the fact is– here we are in bed. Two young married people in bed by 7:30pm. It’s a true story.

I told my mom today on the phone that it’s been wild lately. She laughed when I said that sometimes Brian grabs me while we’re walking past each other to tell me that he loves me and I’m special. Tuesday night at our missional community group it felt strange and exciting to sit next to my husband, since it had been so long since we had done that.

But I’m next to him now. There’s no late project tonight for him. No lesson to prepare for me. Instead, we are in bed together at 7:30, one lightly snoring. And I’m envious of the one lightly snoring, because I’d like to be. And there’s something romantic about snoring next to my husband when it’s still light outside. That, or we’re both so entirely overworked that perspective is skewed. Either way, I’m getting some sleep tonight.

Day one

Well, I survived. And not only that, I had a smile on my face at the end of the day.

Highlights of the first day of school: praying with my kids, new and interesting personalities, actual time with students, and recess. The only downside is the exhaustion that comes after a day with children. I had forgotten this sensation.

I told lots of stories today. I let the kids ask me anything. I told them about Turkey and South Africa, skydiving and trying out for Teen Jeopardy. I told them about Brian and Lola and my church. I told them about my love of Toy Story, gummi bears, and coffee. I don’t feel like a very interesting person on most days, but they made me feel pretty special today. Funny– I was trying to do that for them.

I spent the evening on the living room floor creating binder organization systems for my kiddos and thinking back over the day. There are already faces that come to mind and make me smile– and it’s only day one. There are already funny sayings and inside jokes– and it’s only day one. It took nearly an hour to tell Brian all about my day– and it’s only day one.

What will day 50, day 100, or day 180 look like? Can you fathom the enormity of an adventure at the beginning, or only in reflection?

Meet me night

Tonight was ‘Meet the Teacher Night’. Parents and students came to– you guessed it– meet me!

This school is so different. Students are excited to be returning to school. Many of them have been together since Pre-K. They are talkative and energetic, some shied away from me and others ran ahead of their parents to meet me. But the kids weren’t what made tonight different.

When my headmaster came around at the end of the evening, he asked how everything had gone. I told him that I had never met parents like these. I had never met parents that brought bags of supplies, but then offered to bring me more. They offered to help with bulletin boards, celebrations, copying, grading– anything I needed. Then, one of them told me that she and her daughter had been praying for me.

These parents loved me. They loved me and they didn’t even know me.

They weren’t asking me about my experience in education or my curriculum, or trying to make sure I knew how special their child was– they were asking me how I was liking my school, and if I needed help, and how my family was fitting into the family at the school.

I told my headmaster that I was overwhelmed by the love I felt. He smiled. “That’s good to here,” he said as he walked down the hallway.¬†It’s good to feel, I thought.

 

Watching her be happy

It has been a crazy week. The changes in Lindsey’s employment situation and the ramp up for me on a new project at work ran us ragged. But all of this is good, so it’s okay. The best part for me though is not the fact we’ve had answered prayers and blessings, it is seeing my wife so happy.

She was very happy at her old school. She loved her colleagues, she enjoyed teaching at her hometown school, and she really liked the kids. So when we decided that she needed to look for a new job because the commute was just too nasty she was not fully sold. She knew it was the right thing, but she wasn’t in love with the idea.

To see Lindsey be so happy, so productive, and fall in love with her job and new colleagues has been a huge joy for me. I was really afraid that she would not be provided with a better situation than she had, and it would result in frustration and disappointment. I should have never doubted.

My wife is happy, and I am happy. It’s been one of the longest, good weeks I’ve ever had.

Long time, no see

It’s 10:45pm and Brian and I just got home. The week has been crazy. You all know about it on my side (if not, read the posts from Monday and Tuesday), but just when my work life went nuts, so did Brian’s. So, about the time I need my classroom helper, he has a ton of other (albeit, totally legitimate) things to do.

Tonight, I went to my brother’s birthday dinner (good job getting older, Daniel!) alone, because Brian had a work meeting. I went from there out to Dripping Springs to meet him at the storage unit so we could move my classroom belongings¬†to Cedar Park¬†(thank you for the truck, Galligan family!).

When we got out of our vehicles at the storage place, we just smiled at each other. It read, “Long time, no see.”

We went from a summer of both being in the house all the time and having as much together time as we could stand to a sudden flurry of late nights, no meals together, rushing around, and trying to catch each other on the phone. And when I say that the switch was sudden, I mean that the world changed last Thursday.

But, all of my classroom stuff is IN my classroom now (thank the Lord!). Organizing and decorating can begin tomorrow (parents and students come Monday– yikes!). Brian moved box after box without complaint. He was wonderful. And on the long drive from storage unit to new school, we talked on the phone, trying to catch up on the craziness in the other’s life.

I would joke this summer, within earshot of Brian, that my friends needed to let me know when they were free because Brian and I had a little too much time together in the house.¬†It’s funny how quickly things change.

I told him I’d really like a date night when we have time to breathe again… in October ūüėČ

 

A path and a purpose

I didn’t want to go to the interview. Actually, I was looking forward to the other interview with the other private school I interviewed with last Thursday.

When they called, they told me the position was elementary. Elementary?! I’m middle school-material! But they keep their 6th graders in elementary, so if I wanted to teach 6th graders there, I would have to be elementary. Ugh. The position was also still being determined, but at that point was multiple subjects– and I’m English.¬†But the cheerful voice on the other end told me to come on in for the interview and we could talk about it more there.

When I showed up the next morning, I met some of the funniest women. I was enjoying conversation, standing around gabbing, when they told me that the position is now just English. 5th and 6th grade English. They asked me if this was okay with me.

It was about this time that I realized God was doing something incredible.

I’ve never had an interview like this– the women were hilarious! Parts of it felt like a comedy act, except that they were also so sincere. For every question they asked, I had an actual real-life story and answer. They would squeal, or say they just got chills, or reach over and touch the other one when I would answer. I knew they were excited, but I couldn’t believe it was over me! My experiences over the past couple years lined up in such an exact way that I had the perfect answers to their questions. At this point I was no longer thinking that God was doing something. I was beginning to see that He has had me on a path for quite some time.

I was falling in love with these women, and apparently the feelings were mutual. Then, I had to give a mini-lesson. They brought in third graders.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I panicked. I don’t do elementary. They’re little. And they need things. And they’re scary. But the little, needy, scary things walked in and well… they didn’t look so bad. Cute, actually.

The lesson went well. They loved the cartoon and pictures I had on the iPad, and they seemed really engaged. My interviewers, however, were engaged in something else. They were sitting back behind the students going page by page through my application and exhibiting the same exuberance from the question and answer time even though all my information was in writing. This was insane.

The kids left and the interview continued. It turned out I would actually be teaching both of these ladies’ children, so they were personally invested in my responses. And my responses were still¬†everything¬†they wanted to hear.

As I followed one of them around the campus for a tour, the other interviewer went to speak to the headmaster. My tour was cut short when I was called into his office. The women sat on either side of me as the headmaster asked me about my experience, my faith, and if I wanted to work there. Wait– what?

Yup. He offered me the job on the spot. I told him I would have to speak to my husband and get back to him, even though inside I wanted to hug the man. I did get a group hug from my interviewers before I left. We made plans for me to be there the following morning. I mean, if I decided to take the position…

Before the headmaster offered me the job, he told me that he thought I was sent there by God. This is an incredible thing for a person to say. Thoughts raced through my head: They want me. Me? Me. And they think God sent me. Like I’m an answer to prayer. But I’m nothing. This is crazy. This is crazy.

But that’s how God works. He waited until the last possible second this summer to change my teaching position. He knows I’m good under pressure– He designed me that way. And He revealed how he had been preparing me through every experience I had at my last school and on the mission field and in my walk with Him. We don’t always get to see that part– we just have to trust that He is sovereign and sees a bigger picture. But this time, I got to see it. I got to see His hands move.

My life is not an accident. God didn’t say poof! one day and then step back to see what would happen. He is intentional. He is sovereign. And He is loving.

I looked at Brian in the doctor’s office where we met up afterward and shook my head. “Why do we doubt?” I asked him. “Why do we doubt?”

***

Post Script: Never say “never” to God.

The first time I said never to God, I told Him I was leaving my hometown and never coming back. He gave my my first teaching job there.

In college, when people would assume that my English major was a path to teaching, I would grimace and gasp, “Never!”

And as a teacher, when asked if I would consider¬†teaching¬†elementary, I again grimaced and swore, “Never!”

Yesterday, I began my new job as an elementary teacher.

Some may say He has a sense of humor. And while that may be true, I think it’s also true that our Creator knows us a little better than we know ourselves.

The answer-to-prayer day

Last Thursday was a big day: job interview, hematologist appointment, job interview.

I wanted to post about it. I really did. But decisions needed to be made and certain people made aware of those decisions before it would have been appropriate to tell the entire interweb.

Here’s the short version: I got both jobs and great news from the hematologist. It was an answer-to-prayer day of the utmost. I’m still healthy, and the plan my doctor put me on before seems to be the right track. His diagnosis is most¬†likely¬†correct. I have to be monitored still, but not as frequently. And he told us we need to talk to him before we plan to get pregnant (sorry that wasn’t the big news, Mom ;-)). It was a super-quick visit and Brian and I were in and out in record time.

And now for the job news… I’ve been applying for teaching jobs closer to home all summer. And though public school would have been fine, what I really felt called to do was to move to a private Christian school. Up until last week, I’d had one interview that didn’t really go so well. And then Tuesday, I got a call. Then Wednesday, I got another. That’s how the two-interview-in-one-day thing happened.

I’ll give you the details on the coolest interview ever tomorrow– it’s a story in and unto itself. But, I will say here that I took a job with a small private classical Christian school here in Cedar Park. God is magnificent and has provided for me in ways big, small, known, unknown, and everything in between. I’m elated.

And I had to hit the ground running. Summer ended a week early and I’m way behind everyone else. There’s so much to do– and it’s all overwhelming and exciting and overwhelmingly exciting.