Thursday, May 23, 2013

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This book has been on my to-read list for years. I had thought that it would be boring, I am not sure where I got that from.

For reasons that would take too long to explain, I needed something to read and this was the only book available at the time. So, I started reading it and I immediately loved it.

First of all, Harper Lee starts the book with a plea to never put an introduction on her book. I hate introductions! I always skip them because by the time I am half-way through, I am disinterested in the book. So, thanks Harper Lee.

I didn't know the book was told from the point of view of a 9 year old girl, Scout. I knew the basic premise of the book but that was it apparently it. The book is set in a county in Alabama during the 1930s. It tells the story of a girl and her older brother and their journeys together throughout school and summer vacation. Their father, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer. His main case throughout the book is defending a black man who was accused of raping a white woman.

For the most part, his children don't know much about their father's trials. But this one is dividing the town apart and his children feel the effects of it.

The book is also full of mini-lessons, which I suppose is what has made it great.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...Until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it."

"I like to think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

"Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts."

“Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”  

Like I said, I absolutely loved it. It was a book I was sad to see end. And it is the only book Harper Lee ever wrote. If anyone else hasn't read the book, do it now. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Busy Summer

I have had amazing summers every year that I have been teaching. The first year I went to the east coast, the second year I went to California and a geology trip through Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. This summer is no difference.

I would be going to New York and Boston (for free) but another opportunity came up that was too good to pass up.

I applied and was accepted to the iSmart program at the University of Houston. It is a Master's program and is completely free. No joke here. I have to attend a session at the University of Houston in June, the same week as the free New York and Boston trip. Well, free master's outweighs free trip. This is an online program that I will be able to do while still teaching. In fact, I have to keep teaching to participate. This is the last year they are running the program.

But no worries. Because I was also accepted into an Exxonmobil week long teacher academy in New Jersey this summer. Also paid for. While I will be in sessions all day long, I will be done at 4:30 everyday. The hotel is directly across the Hudson River from New York. And I don't have to share a hotel room. So Chris and I are going up their early, we'll explore the city, and then when the academy he starts, he will keep himself occupied in New York until I'm done. If anyone can keep themselves occupied in New York, it is Chris. 

We were already planning on going somewhere big this summer. This was number two on the list. (Europe is number one.) So this is an awesome way to do it and save some money at the same time.

All this, a prepping for a baby. It will be a busy summer.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Baby!

I am finally ready to type out my pregnancy so far. I have been exhausted everyday and have not felt like doing anything... even type.

This is our little coconut at 10 weeks.  I am currently at 16 weeks and in the second trimester.

We have heard the heartbeat twice. And it is amazing every time. I still have a hard time believing I have something growing inside of me so hearing it shocked me both times.

We had been trying for 3 1/2 years. I have posted about it before. I knew that we would be parents someday; we just weren't sure when one day was going to happen. It didn't seem like it would be happening anytime soon.

At the beginning of February, we went to see a specialist to discuss our options. One thing we were told might help was surgery. Since it was an optional surgery, insurance wouldn't cover much. We were trying to figure out how to pay for it, when to take time off work for recovery etc.

At the end of February, I realized I was about 5 days late which doesn't happen. I have trained myself over the last 3 years to not freak out every month and just let things happen. I went and taught Saturday School and then as soon as it was over I got a pregnancy test. Chris was at a debate tournament and I wasn't planning on telling him anything just in case it was negative.

I took it and walked away for about 5 minutes. I wanted to make sure it had time to tell me the truth.

A faint line is still a line! I broke down in the bathroom crying of joy. I couldn't believe after years of trying I was finally seeing this. But since I have read a pregnancy test wrong before, I immediately called Chris. Who didn't answer his phone. When he finally did, I told him I was sending him a picture that I needed him to look at.

He still took forever to get back to me. But he finally called me back and we decided that I should buy a more expensive test just to make sure. Which I did and got the word "pregnant" to flash.

And 12 weeks later, I am still pregnant. I have taken some belly shots, but they are far away in a camera somewhere. And I am not showing yet anyways. I can tell there is a difference, but not too many other people can.

We find out on June 11 what we are having. Chris says boy (because he is scared of girls) and I don't care. I just want a healthy baby.

We still have 26 weeks ahead to get through. As soon as school gets out (in 9 school days) I am going to start crafting and cleaning organizing our second bedroom. I've got all summer to get it done.