I started the idea of this post at the end of June--it's been a whirlwind summer filled with very, very good things! But allow me to back up briefly to the end of the school year in May. I'll work to make this long story short by saying that, after asking questions of my administration at my school district, we discovered that my position as a para in the band department needed to change to a certified teaching position in order to continue to teach and assess students. Back when I was originally hired 9 years ago, I knew that if my job ever did shift to a certified position, that meant that I needed to reapply and re-interview for it. There have been several surreal moments along this road and the first one was writing a resignation letter(so they could post the job publicly and I could reapply) for a job I love very, very much. Talk about scary, heartbreaking and nerve-wracking all rolled into one, 3-sentenced piece of paper. 

Fast forward to early June when I re-interviewed for my position and was notified the next day that the job was mine if I still wanted it. (Obviously, yes please!) So, I've changed from a classified position to a certified one. Hallelujah and AMEN! Additionally, because of budgeting, I am considered a .5FTE teacher-meaning I will be working half days. I will be working to get my certification reinstated after a 9 year hiatus, going through the new teacher mentoring training etc. Because of the .5FTE status, I get more time at home in the mornings to take care of Life there. What a beautiful blessing!!! In short, I could really identify with Pinocchio in saying, "I'm a real boy (teacher)!" Surreal reality number two. 

A few short weeks after that phone call giving me my job back, I was awakened from an afternoon nap by a phone call with a Winterset listing. I'm so glad I decided to pick it up despite not knowing who it was. Because it was my superintendent! So I quickly tried to snap out of my siesta's reverie and speak coherently to his statement, "I hear you have a photography business." 

"Yes, yes, sir, I do. How can I help you?" 

My superintendent proceeded to describe a Communications Coordinator position that he envisioned to have a half-time teacher and a half-time Coordinator combination. The fact that I knew how to work a camera and was active on social media was beneficial since I would be managing the district's social media accounts, taking photos at events, updating the website etc. As we ended our conversation, he wanted me to keep this job change private until he got some final checks from other administrators. Surreal moment number three: being at home all by myself after ending the phone conversation, looking at our pup, Ella, and saying, "What in the world just happened?!" Cue the blank stares from our schnauzer....

As the summer has progressed, I've been dipping my toe in the giant ocean that is public relations, communication on a large scale and meeting new people in the Norwalk community and administrators in our district. It's fairly safe to say that I've had more administrative interaction in the past 3 months than in my 10 years of teaching combined. Shortly after being offered the Communications position, I read Joanna Gaines' book 'Magnolia Story' and the quote below struck a chord: 

.... if I wanted to be successful, if I wanted to do important work one day, I would have to increase my capacity. I had to learn to manage disappointment. I needed to learn how to make the most out of those “opportunities” Chip seemed to keep finding.

There have been times in my life where I have felt Capacity being stretched: capacity to still love someone after they've hurt you. Capacity to do hard work in the midst of deep personal struggle. Capacity to try again in the midst of intense fear of failure. All of these kinds of things in our lives stretch us, grow us, and a lot of the time, surprise us as we marvel at our own abilities to keep going despite. Despite fear, pain, anxiety, sadness, lacking. 

This summer has been so wonderful on many levels-we spent a week with each side of our families, had two nights away to celebrate our 10th anniversary, took a weekend away as a family of 4 to relax and unwind. But we also worked our tails off getting ready for the school year, photographing a record 46 sessions in 11 weeks, and now, learning the in's and out's of Communications for the school district. I'm excited for what the future holds for both of the jobs I do for our district now--it feels like a beautiful collision of what I've done for so long outside of the classroom and bringing those strengths to help Norwalk Schools be bolstered in our community and surrounding Des Moines Metro Area. At times, my brain feels like it's on overload as I try to absorb the new things I'm being exposed to, but I'm excited at the prospect for growth in both jobs and getting to work with some truly amazing people.

**Side note: Yes, I will still be photographing for my business as well. No worries!**

Summer of 2016, we grew a baby. Summer of 2017, we grew our capacities. I'm not sure which is more difficult, but both have proven to be an incredible ride! (Below are some highlights of our summer!)

First time all my cousins on my mom's side have been together since 2004!!! All 6 cousins are now married and 10 children have been born since then!!

First time all my cousins on my mom's side have been together since 2004!!! All 6 cousins are now married and 10 children have been born since then!!

We spent a week with Gerard's family in the QC-his sister's family got to meet Lochlyn for the first time and we got to see Mimi off to her trip to South Korea to meet her birth mom! What an honor to help her in that journey!

We spent a week with Gerard's family in the QC-his sister's family got to meet Lochlyn for the first time and we got to see Mimi off to her trip to South Korea to meet her birth mom! What an honor to help her in that journey!

My mom has spent the better part of the last 10 years taking care of her parents and with Grandma's passing last fall, Mom got to spend her first full summer here in Iowa since Gerard has known me! She got to watch Laidy's swim lessons, we caught an ICubs game. Dinners out and spending quality time together has been a highlight of the summer!

My mom has spent the better part of the last 10 years taking care of her parents and with Grandma's passing last fall, Mom got to spend her first full summer here in Iowa since Gerard has known me! She got to watch Laidy's swim lessons, we caught an ICubs game. Dinners out and spending quality time together has been a highlight of the summer!

Gerard & I snuck in two nights away from the kids (don't worry, they knew we were gone and they were in impeccable hands!) to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We talked about future plans, dreamed up big things for our family, relaxed and SLEPT! (And also acted like little kids at a water park in Ames...)

Gerard & I snuck in two nights away from the kids (don't worry, they knew we were gone and they were in impeccable hands!) to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We talked about future plans, dreamed up big things for our family, relaxed and SLEPT! (And also acted like little kids at a water park in Ames...)

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”—Proverbs 31: 25-29

This is my verse for the school year: I hope to compose myself in a strong, confident and dignified way to my colleagues and administrators as I adjust to the newness of these positions. I'm praising Him for the chance to take better care of my home as I have my mornings free. And I pray that my children and husband will rise and bless the work of my hands on their behalf.

Soli deo gloria! Amen. :) 

4 Comments