Thanking My Way: In a Funk – TToT #12

seashells in florida

Searching for seashells on our first trip to the ocean

I’ve been in a funk lately…feeling a bit melancholy…missing days gone by.  Honestly, these phases are brief and infrequent.  But, they do occur and there’s usually a trigger of some kind.  This time it was spring break.

Spring break for area schools is always the first full week of April.  Unless you have kids in school or work in a school setting, this particular week is not unlike others.  For my family of four it often meant a long road trip down to a barrier island along the Florida Panhandle.  It became a tradition.  Sometimes we vacationed with family friends.  We made sure we shared our love of the place with our exchange students.  We “adopted” teen friends for the week.

Teenagers x 4

My biological and “adopted” children

Many images of these trips have been flashing through my mind…

Interstate traffic.  Driving through the night.  Looking for familiar vehicles headed south.  Breakfast at IHOP in Dotham, AL (same waitress three years straight).  Piggly Wiggly.  St. George Island Bridge.  House rental (among them Odyssea, Key West House, Snail’s Pace).  Empty beaches.  Sunscreen.  Shoreline fishing.  Sting rays.  Dolphins.  Sand fleas.  Boogie boards.  Reading.  Biking.  Rollerblading.  Aunt Ebby’s ice cream.  Games.  Puzzles.  Excursions to Apalachicola.  Tupelo honey.  The Grille.  Shrimp.  Two Gulls Gifts.  Blue Parrot Café.  Island Emporium.

I am thankful for all of the fabulous memories I have of our past family trips to St. George Island.

This was my second spring break since both kids left for college.  Sadly, college spring breaks do not coincide with that of our public school.  Last year, I carried on at home while my husband worked.  This year we tossed around several options, but decided to head to a new destination in Florida.  My in-laws just bought a small place in a retirement community further south.  They plan to spend the winter months in this location.

We arrived last Saturday in time for lunch.  I had every intention of posting my Ten Things of Thankful that evening.  However, extenuating circumstances made it difficult and I decided to let it go (which was not easy for me to do!).

Ten Things of ThankfulSo, I’m going to combine the last two weeks into this list.

It’s always a relief to have my 4th and 5th grade puberty classes behind me.  As a school nurse, these lessons are among my various responsibilities.  I finished them up right before spring break.  My limited classroom experiences make me ever so grateful for school teachers!

I appreciate my faith community’s commitment to providing financial assistance to college students who choose to attend a denomination-affiliated school.  Many of these schools have a matching grant.  It adds up to a couple thousand a semester!  I’m on the committee that helps distribute these funds and I’ve been working on students’ requests.

Thankful quoteI am thankful my middle-aged body actually tolerated 4-5 hours of hard physical labor two weekends ago.  It was my first demolition experience!

I am thankful that we experienced very little rain and no severe weather on our 18-hour trek south.  Over the years, we’ve encountered tornado warnings and torrential downpours.  I find driving the winding and, at times, steep roads of Tennessee challenging enough at night.

I won a pair of ThinOptics reading glasses and carrying case in a giveaway sponsored by Sheryl Kraft of My So-Called Midlife.  It’s been too long since I’ve won anything!  I can’t wait for them to arrive!

I am thankful for my earplugs, donut neck pillow and the Active Life seat cushion.  They helped me survive the long hours in the car.

I am thankful for the hospitality offered by my in-laws (to us and our dog!) and other relatives we visited on our trip.

I am thankful for the warmer Indiana temperatures!  I returned to find new growth in my flower beds and buds on my lilac bush!  This afternoon, I spent 30 minutes scooping up dog poo and then I went for a 45-minute walk.

I am thankful for two full days at home before starting back to school.  I am unpacked.  The laundry is done.  My car is clean inside and out!

I can be thankful in spite of my funk.  What thankfuls spring to your mind?

Thanking My Way: A Toast to the Week – TToT #11

A Toast!

photo © 2013 courtesy of my daughter

Cheers!  A toast to the week which was one of celebration!

I’ve done a fair amount of writing this week; so I’m not going to expend energy on a prologue for my week’s Ten Things of Thankful.

Ten Things of ThankfulWithout further ado, they are…

This month marks the one year blogiversary of In Momopause!  I published my first post in mid-March, but didn’t go public with the site for several weeks.  I thanked my readers (YOU!) in my celebratory post.  You also need to check out my giveaway!

I’m thankful my school office is adequately staffed once again!  One of my administrative assistants returned from vacation on Tuesday.  Fewer hassles and less stress.

A FREE 3-month prescription refill!  I’m still not used to this when I pick up my daughter’s medication at the pharmacy.

I am so thankful that my community has a used bookstore!  It’s a retail store for BetterWorldBooks.com.  In 2002, a couple of Notre Dame students started this for-profit bookselling venture.  They donate books and funds to literacy programs around the globe.

Thankful quoteThis time of year I’m especially thankful to be working on a school schedule.  After this long winter (images of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s story come to mind), I am ready to travel south for warmer weather.

I am thankful for our local Farmer’s Market.  My husband and I decided not to participate in a CSA this year, but we can still purchase our fresh mixed greens at the market…even in March!  Glad the farm has some greenhouses!

Yesterday, two very special people in my faith community were married.  He had suffered the tragic loss of his first wife from cancer a couple years ago.  She had suffered a loss from a broken relationship.  Together they will parent his three young boys.  I am thankful for rediscovered joy and happiness!

I am thankful for friends who are willing to care for our dog when my husband and I venture out past supper time.

Twenty years ago this past Wednesday, we welcomed a baby girl into our family!  We celebrated with her and some of her friends this past Sunday.  We delivered her gift, but she chose to wait until her actual birthday to unwrap her surprise (a Pinterest idea!).  I wrote a tribute for the occasion and shared some photos.

Please share a thankful (or comment) from your week below!

Comments for DfGI

On Turning One (and a Giveaway!)

First Birthday Candle

This work is a derivative of this photo © 2011 DenisDenis, Flickr CC BY 2.0

This month marks my one year blogiversary!  I’m a bit ambivalent about writing my thoughts on turning one.  Some bloggers celebrate with giveaways and make a big tah-doo.  No balloons or streamers here.  I’m celebrating with a self-congratulatory pat-on-the-back.  I am proud of my accomplishment since I abandoned my other blog attempts after a couple of months.

From the start, this blog has been a creative outlet, an obsession (at times) and a personal journal.  I never intended to profit from this endeavor and I am not promoting a book.  I’m just a midlife woman who enjoys writing and wishes to add her voice to the blogosphere’s cacophony.

On these celebratory occasions, I’ve seen many statistics bantered about on other blogs.  Comparatively, my blog has an infinitesimal reach.  However, I’ve come to realize that each blogger must individually define success.

I work nearly full-time during the school year and have managed to average 1-2 posts weekly.  I’m happy with that.  I’ve participated in many blog hops, met many wonderful bloggers, learned to tweet and attended a blogging conference.  I have worked hard to maintain integrity and honesty in my work, especially related to photo credits.

I am very grateful for all who have supported or encouraged me this past year.  Thanks to my daughter (my number one fan!) and my sister for their photo contributions.  I am thankful for my Facebook friends who read my posts even if it’s just occasionally.  I deeply appreciate the faithful few who subscribe to my blog.

In the past year, I have come to realize the impact many bloggers have in creating awareness and in promoting action.  I admire bloggers who promote and support non-profit organizations such as Shot for Life and Out of the Darkness.  Some bloggers – like Beth Ann of It’s Just Life – hold monthly “Comments for a Cause” campaigns to support a variety of charities.  I aspire to make a difference in a similar way!

As a school nurse, I teach North American girls about hygiene and puberty.  All girls everywhere need this knowledge as well as access to water and the necessary supplies for self-care.  However, cultural taboos and limited resources become barriers to adequate health care and education abroad.

I recently read about Days for Girls International (DfGI), a feminine hygiene program, in an O magazine.  DfGI provides women worldwide with sustainable menstrual supply kits containing washable cotton pads and underwear.  Sanitary hygiene boosts confidence, academic success and, therefore, power.  This top-rated nonprofit organization believes every girl deserves education, safety and dignity.

With this post, I am starting my own “Comments for a Cause” campaign.  I wish to join the efforts of DfGI in advocating for women’s health and education!  I promise to donate 50 cents for each legitimate comment on ANY post during the next 365 days.  A legitimate comment shows that you actually read the post and responded in a relevant fashion.

I will share more about this charity in future blog posts.  Until then, leave a comment!

Comments for DfGI

So, I guess you could say I am celebrating with a giveaway!  Just not in the typical manner of many blogs!