Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunny Saturday

Saturday was a BEAUUUUTIFUL day! Kris and I were so excited to get outside and see the sunshine! We decided to start our day off by going to BBB (Big Bad Breakfast)..YUM. I got the Elvis which is probably the worst thing in the world you can eat but totally worth it. It is a sandwich that has bacon, peanut butter, bananas, and mayo. It sounds disgusting together but somehow it is delicious. We then went to Lamar park to bask in the sunshine and let our food digest. There were so many people at the park and that means plenty of people watching! The weather was absolutely perfect and we enjoyed just sitting there chatting for a while in the sunshine. After some sun-soaking we decided it was still too pretty to venture inside so we got our basketball and headed to the courts. Once we got there, we were sharing the courts with two other large, very athletic looking men who intimidated me a bit. They definitely balled a lot, as confirmed by their nothing-but-net shots. We didn't let this stop our fun though. We kind of just shot around for a bit and I attempted to guard Kris a few times...not very successful. For dinner we had pizza and I tried to splurge as much as possible since "fit February" is sneaking up on me. We ended the day by watching Inception...a total mind-blowing movie. We have had a lazy Sunday since today it is very overcast outside. I cant wait for spring to get here, Saturday was such a tease! Hope every one had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun Fabrics

Happy Friday! As I have mentioned before, I love finding things at antique stores. Some of my favorite decorative items come from antique stores. Recently I found a hideous chair that I absolutely love. The fabric was dreadful but the shape of the chair is gorgeous. It was extremely reasonably priced, so I decided to quickly snatch it. Reupholstery is not my cup of tea but thank goodness it is my mom's passion and she was willing to help me with the redesign process. There is a wonderful fabric warehouse in Marietta where I often go just to look at the fabrics. When I found the chair, I immediately went to the fabric store to pick up the perfect fabric for my new chair. I decided on a yellow paisley fabric and I adore it. The project was slow to start but now it is complete and the chair is better than I could have ever imagined. It sits in a little nook in my room and I now call it my "knowledge nook" because I like to read there. I am so happy that it turned out so beautiful, thanks mom for your help :)



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hellooooo Memories!

I have recently discovered that I have the worst memory in the world. I am not sure what cause this sudden tragedy but it has really started upsetting me. I love memories and have always been an avid picture taker because I want to preserve each memory so carefully. I want to be able to look back at the past year and recall things that I loved. I am glad I blog because it reminds me of the things I have done and the places I have seen. Now, I LOVE do it yourself crafts. I try to be really creative and create things on my own instead of buying them (as you have seen from previous post.) One website that has precious ideas for DIY projects is I am addicted. As I was recently exploring the website, I came across a postcard calendar and thought it was the cutest thing. So, of course, I decided to make one. Now, I don't have an array of postcards, so I did mine a little bit different. The calendar consists of a card for each day of the year. At the top of the card you stamp the day, for example: Jan 01, but you leave out the year. Next, you divide the months by some sort of card, I did mine with colorful cardstock. Finally, you label the year, by pen, on each of the cards and add something you did that day. The next year, you use the same card for that day and you get to see what you did on that exact day a year earlier! I thought this was such a fun way to keep track of your memories and I am so loving mine!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life Lessons

When I think back on 2010, I think about all the things that happened in the year that contributed to building me into the person I am today. There are many things that I can look back on and tell you that I learned a lot from. For now, lets just stick with one; student teaching. Going through the education department at UGA was an incredible experience. Not only did I learn so much about being a teacher but I learned so much about the type of person I want to be. Throughout my classes I doubted my teaching ability and never imagined how I could be a teacher. My thought process in this was that if I was going to be a teacher, I wanted to be an incredible one. I wanted to be one of those teachers where the students walk out of the classroom, better, more inspired, more comfortable about who they were, more confident in their abilities. I did not want to be average. In fact, I wanted to be everything but average. I was scared that I would not fulfill my own expectations. I was scared to fail and fail miserably. As the first day of student teaching approached, I tried to build my self-confidence in every way possible. I told myself that I was going to have control of this class and that I would have the opportunity to shape children's life in a way that they have never experienced before. What I actually got through this process, was a complete shock. I learned that no teacher, no matter how hard they want to can or should control a classroom. Although the teacher is the conductor of the classroom, the students are the moon, they control the tide. It is the interest of a child that directs them to learn. Without the interest, there is no direction and no learning can take place. I could go on and on about my philosophies of teaching. Let's to stick with a few of the most memorable moments and the most important things I learned. I student taught in a Kindergarten class.

#1 Kids are inspirational. One day I wore a brand new necklace to school. Mistake. I had been drooling over this necklace for a while as I would pass by it in its trendy window display. I finally purchased it after I decided it was a great addition to my jewelry collection and convinced myself that it could be paired with any outfit. The next day after I purchased it, I decided to show it off at school. On our way to go out to recess, my new, fashionable, necklace fell to the ground. I quickly picked it up in fear that it had broken. I was right, my new necklace had broken and it was unrepairable. One of the kids noticed from my expression that I was very upset about the events that had just taken place and quickly came to my rescue. He looked up at me with selfless, brown eyes and said, "It's ok Ms. Oliver, if I am good as school this week, on Friday I get $5 and I will buy you a new one." Unbelievable. As I chuckled and responded with, "Oh no silly willy, that is your money and you have earned it!" I thought to myself, how incredible. This five year old was offering me something that was special to him and rare. He didn't think for an instant that he would want a new toy or to see a movie. He thought about helping someone who looked like they were upset and distraught. I can't get that memory out of my head. It is so inspirational.

#2 Kids are carefree. Every morning in our room we had music playing in the background. I often turned music on when the kids were working on individual work. Songs are used for everything in kindergarten, and rightfully so! For each song, I would dance and sing along with the kids. One girl in particular especially liked to groove to the music. Each time I saw her dancing a would yell to her from across the rug, "dance it out, girl." Every time after I said this, a huge smile would appear on her face and she would dance even more. On my last day, we decided to have an all out dance party. We blasted Beiber and showed off our greatest dance moves. By far one of the best parties I have ever been too!

#3 You are sometimes the only structure kids have. I never have thought of myself of someone who is inspirational or as someone that people look up to. I have always felt like I was small, normal fish swimming in a very large pond. I have never done anything to get noticed and would consider myself very low key. When I entered that room, I had no idea that I would not only become the kids teacher but one of their very best friends as well. At times, for these kids, school seemed to be the only structure some of them had. The regularity of school seemed to soothe kids and bring a sense of calmness to them. On Fridays, we had free time. I would often roam around the room helping students complete things or just accompany them in the fun they were having. One Friday, I decided to help a boy who was sitting by himself building a lincoln log house. This turned out to be one of my most eye-opening experiences of all time. We had almost completed the house when the boy turned to me and said, "Ms. Oliver, you are my best teacher and my best friend." After he said this, he turned back to adding the final touches on the house. I sat there frozen. This was probably the nicest thing I have ever heard. In his world, I was a big deal. At that moment, nothing else mattered to me. At that moment, I realized I have a bigger impact on these kids life than I ever imagined. At that moment, a huge smile came across my face as I responded, "and I am so lucky to have a friend like you."

No matter where my life goes or how I change, I will never forget these moments. The things learned in this classroom will forever have an impact on my life.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Orleans

Song that I am loving right now: "Come Away with Me" - Norah Jones

Quote of the day: "The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who don't care deeply about anything at all" -Savannah Curtis

*disclaimer: this is a long might want to get yourself prepared to commit, maybe even grab some snacks first.

I haven't blogged in a very long time, therefore I have a bunch of new news. I can't wait to update my blog with all the things I have been up to lately but instead of going in chronological order, I am going to start with the event that interests me the most. Oh, New Orleans. I am starting to go down my bucket list of things to do in life since I have graduated. One place that I had never been was New Orleans. I have always heard crazy stories about bourbon street and even about some of the beautiful architecture that is around the city. So, Kris and I decided to take a trip over New years, if we were going to go, we were going to go all out. I figured that New Years would be one of the greatest experiences. There were two problems with the idea of going to New Orleans, 1. It is 12 hours away and 2. I hate flying. Neither of these things were helping our plans. Therefore, I looked for answers and stumbled upon a train ride. Why not? We could relax for 12 hours while someone else did all the driving. This was a far better thought when the idea was created verses what it was in reality. We were excited that we would be able to travel Harry Potter style to one of the most infamous cities in America. However, it turned out not to be as whimsical as we thought. First, the train was two hours late...but that did not interfere with my excitement. Once we boarded the train, I was so excited, I was constanly looking out the window and informing Kris of every cute little thing I saw in each city. This lasted for about an hour, until I fell asleep...for about 5 hours (poor Kris). When I woke up, we travled back to the dining cart which was just like a resturant. The food was good, not great but ok for what we needed. After we had finished, we went back to our seats and Kris continued reading while I cracked open my GRE study book. It was interesting stopping at each city and seeing the new people get on with the same excitment I had once had, a few hours before. Over time our car became hotter and hotter. We were curious whether the heat was on or the air conditioning had broken. Needless-to-say, it felt like we were in a hot tub in the middle of a desert. How a man kept his full length fur coat on for the entire ride is beyond my comprehension. He was oddly identical to Johnny Depp though so maybe he had pirate powers.

By the time we got to New Orleans, I was ready to get off the train and experience all of the exciting things in the city. The train stopped but we were not able to de-board for about thirty more minutes. I am not one to complain but this was crazy. Finally, when we got off of the train, we jumped in line to grab a was 10:00, New Years eve. We got in the cab and directed him to go to our hotel, "The Holiday Inn Express." A few minutes later we arrived at the "Cotton Inn Exchange." Hmm, we wondered, clearly not the place we needed to go. We informed the cab driver and he said that this was the Holiday Inn Express just with a different name. We should not have doubted him, but we did and asked him to drive us to another Holiday Inn Express. Next, we found ourselves across town at a Holiday Inn. We figured we would get out and just see if this might be the correct destination. We said farewell and traveled inside with our bags. Unfortunately, this was not where we needed to go. We then used one of the hotel computers to look up our reservation. After calling around a few times, we indeed discovered that the Cotton Inn Exchange was the Holiday Inn Express and it had changed ownership after we had booked it. We took our bags and headed in that direction, this meant traveling through Bourbon Street, at 11:00 on New Years Eve with all our bags in tow. I found it quiet budernsome at the time but looking back it is absolutely hiliarious. We quickly got settled in our rooms, hurried to get our New Years gear on and braved the streets. We arrived on Bourbon Street at 11:57, just in time. Whew. That night was full of fun and interesting people. By far the craziest thing we saw that night was parents pushing strollers with young children in them around...this blew our minds. Here is one of our pictures from New Years Eve on Bourbon street:
The next day, we woke up and went to wander around and see the sights. We had a very fun day eating at the hard rock cafe, shopping in the biggest anthropologie I have ever seen (I was in creation heaven), seeing beautiful architecture, and seeing an incredible street show with break dancers. This might have been my favorite part of the whole trip. Their moves were so incredible and their jokes were even better, I was laughing so hard I was basically in tears. Not long after my laughing turned into uncontrollable hyperventilation, a bus filled with children drove past on the street in front of the show. Not unusal right? Wrong. Accompanying the children on the bus were two ladies hanging out of the door, who were not exactly in spreak break shape, shaking their bootays faster that the tea cups spin at the fair. This was the breaking point for me and when my laughter rose to a level that I did not even know was possible. That night we went to a brewery and had some of the best beer we have ever was kind of a sunrayish type beer if compared to terripan. The next morning, we woke up and traveled to take our second train ride of our lives. This one was much better, or I thought so since I slept for an overwhelming 8 hours. The trip was so worth the fight to get there. I am so glad that I can check something off of my list! I thank my boyfriend for dealing with my frustrations of our traveling accomadations..he is the sweetest thing. Below is a catholic church that I found exceptionally eloquent. I encourage every one to try to experience this city once in their lives, have a beautiful day!