A LOT has happened in the STQ household lately and I find myself feeling like blogging. Rare these days, I know - my mom frequently reminds me. :)
We had a giant group of STQ family members from all over the US congregate here in Sin City for New Years. My parents from SC, my brother, his wife and the fabulous Haven (aged 2) from another town in SC, my aunt and uncle from TX, their 2 grown (and fabulous) daughters from Seattle, my aunt from CA and my (equally-fabulous) step-daughter from AZ all flew in to join me, Divine Hubby and the (oh-so-fabulous) Chase for four wonderful days of food, games, movies, laughter and fun. I did force my will a bit and we had a phabulous phamily photo perphormed (sorry, had to continue it).
Are we a gorgeous family or what? And what were the odds we would all wear red shirts on the same day??? We did look a little funny walking through the mall to the photo place - one person stopped us and asked what store we worked in. Extra credit points if you noticed Ziggy in the picture at first glance... :)
It was a wonderful visit with everyone. Miss Haven stayed with us (of course) while her parents enjoyed a little quiet hotel-room time at the La Quinta down the street. LOVE having a 2-yr-old around at Christmas time!
But, alas, all good things must come to an end and everyone got on their respective airplanes and left Lost Wages. After purging the house of chocolate (ok, so I ate some too...), we have returned to what passes for normal around here. School has started again for everyone except Megan (college student, don'tcha know). Chase has waxed VERY eloquently (and often) about how unfair it is that she gets two more weeks off. Life's unfair, my sweet boy. Time ya learned it! :) I'm such a sympathetic mom...
One of the biggest news flashes is that I am starting a Masters in Education program at UNLV this semester. Since I am (ahem) 41, and it has been (ahem) 20 years since I wrote a paper, took a test, pulled an all-nighter, etc. I am more than a smidge worried about the whole graduate-school experience. Luckily, I won't have to wait and worry too long...classes start next Tuesday. Eeeeek! I actually am looking forward to the whole experience - while subbing has been a very mixed-bag for me, I have learned that I enjoy teaching special-ed and it seems to enjoy me as well. I have also learned that I feel very passionate about low-income special-ed children in particular. They have everything stacked against them in life and I think it really takes an adult advocate to make sure those kiddos get what they need to succeed. So, in the Summer of 2011 (wow that's a long time) I will take my next deep breath and be a teacher. It's a fast-track program developed through the school system and UNLV and it's going to be a whirlwind, I fear. My next blog entry may begin with the words, "So now I have my Masters...now what?"
Thinking about all of that has made me feel many things.
Nervous - CAN I do it? WILL I do it? Will my family survive while I'm gone and/or totally distracted and overworked for 18 months? Will I notice if they DON'T survive?
Pride - yay, I made it into grad school!
Overwhelmed - Fast-track sounds like a euphamism for "lots and lots of work in a little bit of time."
Excited - You mean I get a career too???
I'm reading a book that I am going to recommend to everyone, regardless of their stage of life or age of their children. It's called Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by twin teenaged boys named Alex & Brett Harris. It's about the sad fact that no one expects ANYTHING but mediocrity from teenagers. They sleep until noon, they sneak out of the house, they experiment with drugs and alcohol, they don't turn in projects or homework just cause they don't want to, they don't listen, they are rude and lazy and they rebel. Basically, between the ages of 13-19 kids are absolutely worthless and we should just consider that time of life is wasted time. Then when they turn 20, they magically are supposed to become productive members of society and be amazing achievers. This book is about being different. It's about what can be achieved by teenagers if the expectation is there. It's about two incredible young men who were nobody special but have done really HARD THINGS and made a difference in the world! I am (ahem) 41 and these kids are really teaching me something about working hard! I am getting my inspiration from them to do this hard thing I am embarking on, while encouraging Chase to read the book with me. I think you should read it too. I would love to hear what you think if you do read it!
So, it's been a busy few weeks for us. And it's only going to get worse, I fear. I will try to keep you guys informed of my grad school progress, but I fear it will be spotty at best. We at the STQ ranch wish all of you a happy and blessed 2010 and can't wait to see what this new year will bring!