Having (my) Say Part II

If you missed my Part I of "Having My Say", please visit here before reading the rest of this story.

So, picking up where I left off, after winning the Teacher of the Year (TOY) for my district, I then had to start the process for the regional TOY.  There was a new packet of information to complete.  Lots of essays, letters of recommendations, and a professional headshot.  Completing all of this was an intense process, and I will admit that my mother and I pulled an all-nighter in order to meet the deadline.  I hadn't pulled one of those in quite a while.  As for the professional headshot, I made a quick phone call to a friend down the road who worked as a photographer in his former life. Thankfully, he had all of his equipment and could get me a picture to submit.

Prior to the regional interviews, I had time to prep with a former teacher.  We discussed issues in education, interview techniques, and shared lots of teacher stories.  Then she gave me her favorite teacher pin that she had had for her career.  So sweet!

On the day of the interview, back in October, I dressed according to their specifications, and wore a new hairstyle.  I felt calm right before the interviews and I felt good about my answers.

The next day the selection committee interviewed the other half of the interviewees.  There were 12 of us (from 12 different counties) in all for my region.  The committee would select the 2 finalists.

I was expecting to hear back in November to see if I made the first cut, but two days after the interview, I received a phone call at work to let me know that I made the finals!

While I was teaching, I was surprised by a guest from the district office and the admin at my school.  They came in bringing balloons and a new bouquet of flowers.  It really caught me off guard because I had just found out myself only about an hour before hand.

Because of making the finals, the selection committee would visit my school for an entire day, observe a few of my classes, interview administrators, teachers, students, parents, and me - yes, another interview.  That day was on yesterday.  I felt that same sense of calm that I felt before the previous interviews.  I will say that I had a blast today!  No matter what happens, I can't think of anything I would have changed, and I know I did my best.

Now, we just wait.  I think the deadline is January.  :-)

Until then,

Home Office Reveal

It's been a long time coming, but finally my home office project is complete!  What started out as a "den of sin" (lol) has turned into a neatly organized, and deeply purged, space.  Even though I normally plan out the decor of a space before I get started, for this space, I literally started with a paint color and everything else just fell into place.


But seriously, this was the real before.  YIKES!!!!
(too shameful to even upsize the photo - lol)


I hope you enjoyed this tour!

One Productive Saturday

There's no substitute for plain rest.  Period.  This week, I was able to get lots of rest.  I started feeling so much better and because of that I was also able to be more productive during the work week.  In fact, that good feeling spread into the weekend.  Saturday was such a beautiful day.  One of the main reasons why I enjoy this season so much is because of the beautiful foliage, and Saturday's view didn't disappoint me.

Although my contractor has been unable to return to my home to finish up the bathroom makeover for a little over a week now, due to illness, I had the rare opportunity to return there and work on some much needed projects!

First, I started by cleaning the kitchen:

Then, I spray painted and reupholstered the chair in my home office (speaking of which, my office is finally finished and now I can do an office reveal post!):

Then I finally started my first tile project.  Yes, I used the leftover mosaic tiles to tile the mirror I found at the Habitat Restore for $5.  This mirror is going into my bathroom.  I need to clean it up and then grout it (after I figure out how) and then it'll be good to go:

I haven't had a Saturday like this past Saturday in quite some time, and truth be told, it felt soooo good to get some projects done.  Now, I'm just dreaming of the rest of them.  :-)

Here's the video of the day in case you want to see some spray painting and tiling and such in action!

So what about you, how was your weekend?  Any projects brewing?

Thrifted Sweater Challenge

You already know I love thrift shopping, but this time I went for the purpose of shopping for sweaters for the fall/winter season.  HouseofAqua, issued a challenge on Youtube for participants to go to their local thrift stores and look for sweaters.  I decided to participate in that challenge.  Truth be told, I had just returned from a sweater thrift shopping trip and so the challenge came at the perfect time.

I purchased all my sweaters from Value Village.

Here is the video I linked to her challenge.

And here are the sweaters I purchased.  In total, I spent $39 and some change.  If I had to do it over, I would not have put back that Land's End trench coat for $13.  What was I thinking!

(Please accept my apologies in advance for these cell phone pics.)

Do you shop for sweaters at thrift shops?  If you decide to purchase any thrifted items and post about it, please let me know.  I'd love to see what you discover.

Happy Thursday,

My Cup is Full

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Have you ever been blown away or simply overwhelmed by even the good stuff?  It seems that we really don't share that side of life.  We usually refer to being overwhelmed when there are so many negative things happening one after the other.  Or when your plate is so full of tasks that you can't see your way out.  Trust me, I know that side of life too.

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But lately, I have been so full.  In one of my classes that I'm taking, the icebreaker on the first day was this activity called "My Cup is Full."  Basically, you say any of the things that are on your mind - good or bad.  The rationale is that your brain cannot receive new information if it hasn't had the opportunity to release or validate those things that are near and dear to us, so we shared things going on with us that would prevent us from focusing.  After saying it, it's like you released it into the wind, and honestly we were able to focus on that class.  That day I shared that my tub was currently sitting outdoors and I was embarking upon a bathroom renovation project.  Then my cup was full.  Later it became my cup, my saucer...

I have been reminded that there are 5 more weeks to go in these courses.  I'm enjoying them, but I've been nose-deep in books since August.  My mom reminds me that I have no life.  LOL  Quite the contrary, actually.  My life just now looks different.

I did sneak a moment to craft.  Actually, I just participated in a DIY Holiday Gift challenge on Youtube and therefore, I was able to make one batch of lip balms.  I had to grin to myself because until then, I hadn't touched a craft supply.  I have pictures that need editing and an order of body butter that needs making.  Maybe Veteran's Day?

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Oh, there are so many wonderful things that I would like to share with you.  Soon.  But I wanted you to know that I'm still here in the background.  I'm peeking into blogs when I can.  Actually, I may not always comment, but I'm reading through my feed.

I hope everyone is well too.

And yes, before I sign off for today, I also wanted to let you know that I purchased two new teas from World Market last week - Twining's Christmas Tea and Winter Spice.  Both excellent choices!

p.s.  If you haven't already done so, go vote!

Until next time,