Coming of Age

It’s been a minute, and by a minute I mean a few years. There are a few reasons for this. For one, being a middle school teacher can sometimes be terrifying in and of itself. It’s even more terrifying  when you are putting yourself out there the way that I do with my writing. There are some things kids don’t need to know about their teachers.

The other reason is because I’ve been distracted with the process of writing my book, editing it, trying to snag an agent (I did!) and then convincing a publishing company that they should publish it. (That happened too!)

The middle grade book I wrote has been described as Judy Blume meets The Sandlot. It’s about a girl whose biggest desire is to undergo a miracle transformation over the summer before middle school. She wants a  transformation that magically erases her secret past in hopes of gaining a fresh start.

It’s a common theme in my life. “Uh…. I think I need a redo.”

As the summer progresses she is unexpectedly adopted by a band of boys and through their budding friendship she starts to open up about the burden she carries. By the end of the summer it seems she has had a miracle transformation. It just looks nothing like the one she had envisioned. What she learns in the end is that the only thing that needed to transform all along was the way she saw herself.  

Again… another common theme of my life.

Throughout the process of crafting this book, I ended up having a similar transformation myself. And through this transformation I found I was having a hard time shifting this new theme in my life into the theme of this blog. Even the title of it made me cringe every time I saw it.  

If you sift through the beginning archives of this blog you’ll find a woman who was going through her second postpartum season and dealing with the subsequent identity crisis that comes with life change. During this time, I was struggling and on a journey to find the healthiest me.  At the time I automatically thought health equated to losing baby weight.

I was wrong.

Through my musings over the years I discovered a few things…

1. I like myself the way that I am.

2. Mental health leads to physical health.

3. It’s through your vulnerability that you find your strength.

I wasn’t really looking for attention when I started this blog. I was just a stay at home mom simply looking for a creative outlet. Nobody was really supposed to read it, and I was surprised when it kind of blew up.

Over time as my thinking started to shift I felt the need to give myself a new outlet, so I quit writing on my blog and started writing a book instead. To my surprise I found success in that too.

Now, I’m officially an author, and with that comes the terrifying concept of becoming a public figure. I’ve had to write about myself in the 3rd person, get my makeup done (which by the way was surprisingly terrifying) and take author looking photos for upcoming press releases…

And to no one’s surprise I have been awkward about the whole thing.

Because of this new found attention, I have been tempted to delete all of the dredges from this dusty old blog of mine.

I have an agent, an editor and a marketing team that are looking to sell my book. And through that is the pressure to create an image. 

I’ve been struggling with this whole concept… image. I’ve spent weeks looking at this author questionnaire that I received upon signing the book deal. It asked me a variety of questions about marketing myself that I have no idea how to answer, and it has left me wondering how do I want to go about this? Who do I want to be as an author?

And then it hit me. I’ll just be me. Because that’s how I got here… by writing with honesty and by sharing my truth.

I have ultimately decided to keep this little space of mine. (As embarrassing as it might be.) Not really for you, but for me… so I can see where I’ve been because it is the catalyst for where I’m going.

Just like the girl in my story, I’m learning to embrace my past and all of it’s awkward glory. In doing so I’m learning to embrace my own unique journey and the person these experiences have helped me become.

So, it appears here I am again- embarking on yet another coming of age. 

Weekly Weigh-in and A Crossroads You May Not Like


Yeah… so I dropped the whole numbering the weeks thing. I realized I’m always going to be on this journey so it doesn’t really make sense to number them. Anyway, when I stepped on the scale today I weighed in at 184.2.

The candy bulge from Halloween is gone! Yay! Now I have to hurry up and get a head start before the turkey bulge takes its place.

This week has been incredibly busy and incredibly exciting at the same time. I’m at a turning point in my life and instead of feeling fear of the unknown I’m feeling confident about what I have in store for my future. That being said, I’ve spent the majority of the week stalking people…

You see, I’m responsible for placing myself for student teaching. This is a really frustrating process because it requires a lot of waiting on other people who could care less that you don’t graduate if they don’t get back to you. Therefore, I got aggressive. I bombarded HR departments, principals and teachers with emails that were carefully worded to show them how badly I needed to get placed without sounding desperate… even though I was.

I’ve woken up at 4:30 every morning and spent every free second I had while Penelope was sleeping stalking these people. That meant my blogging time was taken up. Sorry for that.

Anyway, I think I finally found a teacher who is willing to take me on. I’m just waiting for confirmation from the principal. YAY! The funny thing about that was that of all of the emails that I had sent out, her’s was the only one I screwed up. I spent hours trying to make sure that the emails I sent out were perfect. I would copy and paste aspects of some of the letters I had already written customizing them for whoever I was writing to at the moment. Well, in my fried brain state I forgot to swap out the name of the person I was addressing. Right after I sent it I noticed the mistake and there was  a resounding “NOOOOOOOOOO!” that echoed through my house.

I immediately wrote her back, dropped the professional speak and confessed that I was desperate and my brain was fried and that I was SO SORRY. That’s when she said she would do it. Wait. What?

I know… already love her a little bit.

By the end of the day I realized that in my hurried state the only thing that I had consumed all day long was coffee. That’s when I went to Sonic on my way to pick Bridget up from school and scarfed down a grilled cheese wacky pack. Not my finest moment.

Throughout all of this hunting another interesting opportunity arose. I had sent out a student teaching inquiry to the school of my dreams. I mean, it’s the kind of school that teachers go to when they die and go to heaven. I got an email back immediately from the principal telling me that they don’t take on student teachers but that he would “be eager” to meet with me. (Yes, I totally read into that.) In my inquiry I had sent my resume and my unofficial transcripts. I have a  3.78 GPA you know. I’m not bragging or anything… okay, maybe I am a little. Long story short, I have a meeting with him on Dec. 5th and I could pee my pants I’m so excited!

Then, something struck me. What if he Googles me??? Do you know what he’s going to find!?


He’s going to see my post about the tacos that somehow turned slutty. And the time I thought my pepper plant looked like it had a weiner (damn, I misspelled it again.) And the fat pictures…. OH THE FAT PICTURES! There is just so much inappropriate found in the “pages” of this blog.

This is the equivalent of walking into a job interview in my sweat pants with mascara smudged under my eyes. Then offering the principal a glass of wine, propping my feet onto his desk and reading aloud the pages of my diary for his listening pleasure. In my attempt at being transparent for the benefit of my readers I’ve exposed every insecurity and every flaw that I have. Not exactly the kind of stuff you want to present on a job interview.

Sure this blog shows my strengths too. My determination, my heart, my passion but will he see that beyond all of the blatant honesty?!

Now I feel like I’m at a crossroads. When I’m a teacher I become a public figure. Personally, I can let the walls down and choose not to have a filter but as a teacher you need to have a very strong filter. There is no way I would say the things I’ve said in this blog in a classroom… or even on campus. That means there might come a time when I have to give this blog up and not only give it up but erase it completely.

The ups and downs of an entire year of my life gone. That’s so sad.

I’m weighing my options. I talked about this with my brother-in law who is the director of communications of an amazing university. I asked him if he would hire me after seeing what I’ve written. He said yes, he doesn’t want me to get rid of the blog but he sees my reservations. So I’m still mulling it over.

You see, if I have to choose between being a teacher and this blog I’m going to have to choose teaching. I love this blog and I love to write but I have to teach. It was just something I was born to do. The way that I connect to my readers is very similar to the way I connect to my students.

I’ve seen the down sides of education, I’ve been trapped in them myself. I’ve had experienced teachers mock me for my enthusiasm because they were so beat down by the inefficiency of the education system and the hard economic times. They would say things like, “Just you wait, you won’t be so chipper about it later.” 


If teachers feel this way then how do you think the students feel? I feel like somebody has to have their interests at heart despite the challenges that must be faced in order to do that. And yeah I might be idealistic to think that I can bring enlightenment in dark times but isn’t that a teacher’s job?! Don’t those students deserve a little light at the end of the tunnel?

I feel like it’s my calling to help students hone the individual gifts that lie hidden beyond the standardized tests. To show them that they are special and unique in their own right and that NOBODY has the right to tell them if they can or cannot succeed because that decision is reserved for them… and them alone.

I day dream about the lessons I want to teach and I get teary eyed with I think about how badly I want to make a difference… I know! I’m such a weirdo! I just can’t help it.


Like I said, I don’t know what lies ahead for this blog. I would feel bad for deserting the friends that I have made and the community that has been built. Plus, I would probably resort to talking to myself in the car and in the bathroom mirror if I couldn’t get these things off of my chest in written form. Who am I kidding? I do that anyway.

What do you guys think? Maybe I could clean up my act a bit… but where’s the fun in that?

Week 36 Weigh-in


Today is weigh-in day! I must say this is the first time in a few weeks where I wasn’t dreading it. I weighed in at 190 on the dot.

This morning was busy. I had to get up early and head over to a coffee shop to get some writing done before a meeting that I had scheduled. It was a conference call so I wore my most attractive workout gear so that I was ready to workout right afterward. And by attractive I mean I wore one of my husband’s t-shirts that smells like his deodorant no matter how thorough I wash it. (Is it strange that I’m attracted to the smell of Old Spice?)

The call ran over a bit so I was late. However, that didn’t stop me from being a bad ass for about thirty minutes…


Told you that shirt was attractive, puke green never looked so good!

The workout we did entailed pushing around tractor tires and… well, each other. There was also lots of sprinting which I love because it reminds me of the old days when I played soccer. I may be chubby but I’m still pretty fast. In fact, I’m so fast you can’t even get a picture of me doing it. Check out this photo of me looking like one of the Incredibles.


Okay, so maybe the real reason I’m blurry is because this was taken with my phone which sucks. But the upside to having a crappy phone is that someone turns it in every time you to lose it. Every. Time. (Even if I kind of wish they wouldn’t.) But it’s all for the best because my job does kind of depend upon it for those conference calls.

I’ve been focusing on balancing all aspects of my life this week. I’m a freelance writer, a grad student and a mom. Everything that I do is from home so I’ve been struggling with making boundaries. I still struggle with designating times where I focus on the task at hand instead of trying to do it at the same time. I want to be present with my girls and make sure that the time I spend with them is quality. I also have to carve out time to get all of my work done which usually depends on me leaving the house and everyone in it.


And don’t forget those weight loss goals!

It’s my goal to weigh 180 by the end of September. I’m determined to make that happen. My motivation is at an all time high. I’ve got this strange competitive fire in my belly that I used to get when I played sports. It’s a gut feeling that urges me to push harder because I don’t want to be beat.  Deep down it tells me that if I just try harder I can conquer anything that comes me way and it challenges me to dream of going beyond the land of good enough and into the land of the great.

I’m not just talking about weight loss, though that’s part of it. I’m talking about becoming the person I’ve always dreamed I would be. It doesn’t just happen over night without putting forward effort. Thinking about it doesn’t make it happen but doing something about it does. So that’s where I’m at… I’m doing something.

What about you? Are you the person you always thought you would be? If so congratulations!!!