Could you tell us about your trip to Paris last year? I have always wondered how it was. What is your favorite thing about Paris? Are you going again this year?
Over Spring Break in March just a few months ago, we went back with my current group of 8th graders. This time, we went to Paris then took the fast moving train, the TGV, to Avignon. We spent two nights in Avignon and the surrounding cities of Nimes and Arles, then ended our trip in Nice. It was a great trip but really COLD. Paris had an unprecedented winter, with it snowing in March! Unfortunately, the kids couldn't go up the Eiffel Tower because it was closed that evening due to the weather. My kids were amazing and didn't even let it affect their trip. One declared "hey, how often do you get to play in the snow under the Eiffel Tower" and off they went.
The next trip is planned for June 2014 and I currently have 12 registered. That one will be Paris and the northern regions of Brittany and Normandy, including the D-Day beaches. Taking a certain military man along as a chaperone. I love changing the itineraries and trying places I haven't seen as much either.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I remember a recent post that other teaching job you could see yourself doing "5 years down the road."One thing is absolutely certain for me, I will be working with teenagers, preferably middle schoolers.. I love working with them and they make my life better. I have considered going back to graduate school to become a counselor. I know that is something I would be good at but I'm not quite ready. I love being in the classroom right now. I think maybe once Katie is in elementary school and my life is more settled, I will try to find a good counseling program.
Does it get easier or harder in time with Allie? (No disrespect intended with this question.)
Absolutely no disrespect taken. This is a good question. I would have to say both. The day to day gets easier. Gone are the days I wake up hearing her scream or feel the constant ache of missing her. I don't always wake with her on my mind immediately because small girls are jumping on me or we're rushing to get ready. Not a day goes back that I don't think of my beauty, but the pain of the day to day is not there. On the flip side, the big dates are worse for me. I struggle a lot for her anniversary, her birthday, the day of her diagnosis (that's this Friday, my niece's birthday), Mother's Day. I feel the pain of not having her presence in my life stronger on those anniversary dates.
Do you see yourself remarrying?
The idea of marriage scares me. I can't imagine going through a divorce again. I am terrified of another heartache.
The idea of marrying this guy? I feel completely safe and confident in it. So, yes, I do hope to marry again. I'd marry Rob in a heartbeat. I don't know when it would happen, but I do think it will one day. However, for now, I'm happy with him moving closer. We often say our relationship has phases. In the beginning, there was the phase of dating without knowing any of our kids and him in officer training in Ft. Sill. Then we moved to the phase of him knowing my girls. We went through a long period of time where his kids knew about me but we still had not met. We weren't around each other on the weekends. Since December, we've been in a phase of our girls getting to know one another and the big girls getting to know me. With each phase we've been in, there have been challenges and struggles we've had to overcome. There have been great joys and happiness to far outweigh the challenges.
We'll see what this next phase brings us.
Do you want to have any more children? (drawing a blank if you had anything done to not have more)
Similiar question--do you forsee a future where you and Rob try for #6, or is raising 4 girls plenty?
I love my babies. I was blessed to have three beautiful little girls and have the privilege of raising two of them. I love his girls. It's fun and wild to see them all together and see the differences and similiarities of our ladies. However, 5 daughters is PLENTY. When we're all together, it's a hectic time. Finding activities for girls ranging from 3-15 is not an easy task. Someone is always dissatisfied with the choice picked by everyone else. Rob is 41. I'm 35. We're almost out of the toddler stage with Sissy and getting close to no more pull ups at night. I can't imagine starting over. I can't imagine having yours, mine, and ours in our family. I think that's too much on our girls. While we both agree we would make pretty little babies, but we won't test that theory. Katie was my last baby. The C-section helped make that final with a little procedure as well :)
Are you still close with A's family?
Obviously not as close as we once were, but I have been able to maintain a good relationship with his mom, Frances. She buys the girls season tickets to the children's theatre in FW and we've been to a few shows with her. I love and respect Frances and that will never change. I do not speak to his father or stepmother, but we have never had a good relationship and went years without speaking when I was married to Andrew.
Thanks for sharing the 'meet' story. You indicated that it was 'your' version, how would Rob's differ?
He usually just says it was a happy hour or a dinner, not a tweet-up. He'll tell you he left knowing we wouldn't see each other again. He says it was my smile that won him over.
How is your friend Grace (the other half of the dynamic duo of chaos) That was one of my favorite posts, because it is totally me and my co teacher :)
Grace has had a BIG year! She's married now and is 16 weeks pregnant. It's been a really rough pregnancy with high-risk complications, but she is amazing. She and her husband are separated by a distance. He lives in Oklahoma and she moves there as soon as the school year ends. We have a girl date tonight just the two of us! Last night, we celebrated finishing our year of National Junior Honor Society by inducting 143 members.
What are the girls into these days? Fairies, princesses, frogs?
Maggie is starting to be too big for the little girl stuff like princesses. She loves American Girl, Junie B Jones, and the bigger Disney shows (though rarely gets to watch). Much to my horror, she is obsessed with all things from Justice. Me, that place is my hell. Her big goal is to learn how to ride her bike better this summer. She fell Sunday night with the babysitters and skinned her knee, which really upset her.
Sissy still loves Dora, but Jake and the Pirates has her heart a bit more. She is really into Lalaloopsy and has started to like coloring like her big sister. Every day, her requests "something that spins" with her outfit. Unlike her sister, she doesn't like sparkly stuff as much. That makes hand me downs a bit of a challenge since big sister loves all things sparkly. Katie is my carb queen, constantly wanting baggies of dry cereal. She is the bigger animal lover and will curl up with the dogs.
What are three qualities you hope both girls have now and keep while growing up?Maggie-- 1) her kindness and concern for others. She treats everyone the same and is always described by her teachers as the "sweetheart of the class." 2) her love of learning. She loves school and always wants to learn something new. 3) her fashion sense. My girl has style and it's fun to see what she picks out
Katie-- 1) her spunk. The girl might be wild but she sure is spunky and fun. Life is never dull with her in it. 2) her ability to bounce back. Nothing really gets to Katie too long. She lets it go and gets back in a good mood. 3) her leadership. Even at 3, she has the ability to lead the class and have everyone behind her. She is a natural leader. It's just what she chooses to do with that talent that will be interesting.
If you could predict the future and take a lucky guess now, what would you think the professions of your girls would be?
I think one of them will be a teacher. Most likely Maggie. Katie? Not totally sure. She will tell you she'd like to be "maybe a butterfly or a ladybug."
Oh, I loved hearing about the girls. What else is floating around in your head that you'd love to mommy-brag to us?
How about some recent pictures of my lovelies?
Well since I see an update on the girls, what about your "other girl" BRANDY? How is that sweet pooch doing?
Just wrote this post recently about the Old Lady. Love that dog. She got in the trash the other day, overate and then threw up everywhere. Wasn't so in love with her then but normally, she's my baby. :)