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Hello everyone! It’s hard to believe that 6 weeks from now, I’ll be flying back home to visit my friends and family that I haven’t seen since December! These last weeks before summer vacation are packed full of school activities, teacher parties, and other fun things, and I know they are going to absolutely fly by.

There was a day this last spring…I think it was February when I finally allowed myself to cave and plug in the external hard drive from home that has all of my pictures on it. I spent an entire Saturday afternoon looking at pictures and watching videos of all of my babies. What struck me the most (next to how much I missed them all) was the sound of my own voice on those videos. I couldn’t remember the last time I had so much joy at work. I realized right then and there that I got into the right field but majored in the wrong branch. I had to use my elementary education degree to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I belong in early childhood.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy teaching 1st grade even though this year has been more difficult than I could have ever imagined it being, but I don’t have the passion that I do for the littlest ones. I work long hours and exhaust myself because I have to not because I want to. I never realized before how much of a difference that distinction can make! That day, I not only created a file on my computer with the pictures and videos that spark joy in my heart which I call my “Folder of Happiness” which I open on my worst, most frustrating teaching days, but I also started looking into getting a masters degree in early childhood.

I started my Masters in Early Childhood Education degree at Capella University on April 11th, and it’s been going well so far. My first course ends the last day of school at CAT, and I will have 3 weeks off before starting my next course. I’m hoping to finish sometime around Spring 2018, but since my course load is flexible, I may finish before or after that time. I’m extremely excited about achieving this degree and learning more about an area which I am so passionate about. I suppose you could say after I got my elementary education degree, my career took an unexpected detour into early childhood, and it took going back to elementary again to realize that detour was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

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Last Wednesday, I woke up in the morning with sharp pains in my stomach. I thought I could just power through the pain, but when I got to work, the pain was so bad that moving caused nausea and dizziness. I went home less than halfway through the day and called asked a friend to call an AR doctor that night. By the time the AR doctor got there, my entire body hurt to the point where I could barely move from the couch. After examining me, he prescribed some pills to take for 48 hours. My wonderful friends went and picked them up for me since the poking and prodding had made me too nauseous to even sit up. 15 hours after the pain started, the medication finally took the edge off enough for me to move around. I stayed home from work on Thursday and Friday since even with the medication, I still felt jabs of pain and a burning sensation around my belly button.

I finally let the pain medication wear off on Saturday morning an extra 12 hours after the doctor recommended, and when the pain came, it was the same as it had been on Wednesday. I quickly took the medication again and started making arrangements to go to the hospital. When I got there, they looked at my lab results and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They decided to keep me for 24 hours for observation. They determined that I had an infection in my intestines from an unknown cause. They assumed it was bacteria in something I ate that caused the problem. I was discharged on Sunday night with 5 different medications to take. I took Monday off because I knew that I couldn’t go from lying on my back for 5 days to chasing after 18 first graders without potentially killing myself, and I was back to work full force on Tuesday. Since then, I have been feeling progressively better. Tomorrow is my last day of medications, and I’m excited to not live my life chained to my counter pharmacy. I am grateful to my friends who picked up my medications, took care of my kitten, took me to the hospital, translated everything for me, spent the night with me, and generally made me feel cared for. I am extremely blessed to have such wonderful people in my life!

As far as general events go, we have celebrated a few birthdays and a wedding since I last updated you, and we will celebrate many more events before the school year is over. There will be only one more post before I come home so hugs and kisses until then!

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