Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Shooting in Connecticut

I feel compelled to write, even though I don't know what to write. What can I write that hasn't already been thought and written by thousands of other people? Still, here I am - sitting at my computer, struggling with all these thoughts.

I'm not a parent, but I've spent my entire professional career loving and protecting young children. I started as a young, part-time, after-school teacher in a child care center -- with a group of 5-year-old children. I was a sophomore in college and I loved those kids. Sure, I was a kid myself, but I knew I was there to give them love and do my best to ensure their safety. Back in 1987, we didn't know anything about "active shooters on campus" or "lock-down" situations. We counted faces, made sure we had all of the kids with us at all times, and tried to keep everyone happy.

I've been the director of an NAEYC-Accredited preschool for the past four years and let me tell you -- Ensuring the safety of the children (and staff) takes on an entirely different meaning. I feel an enormous sense of responsibility every day - whether I'm physically at the preschool or not. Immediately after I arrived, I started making changes to beef-up our security. To some, it was a shock. "It's always been done this way." "We've never had a problem, here." Unfortunately, no one has the liberty to say those things anymore. We HAVE to do more to protect ourselves. We can't just take our safety for granted any more.

I created an extensive Disaster Preparedness Plan, and worked closely with first responders to make sure it was "good." Now, we're working with other professionals to make it even better. A couple of weeks ago, one of our fathers (Police Captain of the local university) presented a powerful workshop -- Dealing with an Active Shooter on Campus. It really changed our perspective on things teachers need to do. In a sense, WE are the "first responders". WE are the one's there to protect the children and WE will do what we can to do just that.

This most recent attack has really rattled me. That school had taken precautions -- they were doing things to keep the children and staff safe. Still, this person came in and murdered those innocent people. He killed the School Psychologist - my husband is a School Pscychologist. The children were just babies!!! There is NOTHING that a 5-year-old could ever do that would warrant an attack like this. I keep seeing the 5-year-olds that I have held in my arms. I can call "my kids" by name. Those sweet little faces that I've kissed and funny little stories that I've listened to. My heart aches for those families that will never get to do that again....with THESE little ones. I keep hoping it was like an episode of "Touched by an Angel", so that each person had a loving angel to calm and guide them.

I'm not ready to talk about "him" -- I'm too angry. I know I'm "supposed" to forgive him. I know I should think about him as a 5-year-old, or as a young adult who is lost and hurting. I just can't get there right now. Right now, I'm thinking about these precious little one's and their teachers.

New angels in heaven - just in time for Christmas.

Please join me in praying for the children. We need GOD to take over!! Clearly, we can't handle this on our own.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy 1st Year!

Dec 10, 2011 we moved in to our new home -- exactly 1 year ago today. We still LOVE this house!! It's absolutely perfect for us. It's hard to believe that a year has already passed. Time definitely does fly.

In the past year, we have:
- Shared our home with family and friends on multiple occasions
- Bought new furniture
- Built a shed in the backyard
- Dug and established 5 new flowerbeds, including the front patio
- Planted 6 trees
- Floored the attic
- Added new shelving to the attic
- Designed and built my scrapbook room
- Had fun decorating each room and making this house a "home"

Sure, there are more projects to do (all of which my dear hubby is super excited to tackle!!!), but that's part of the fun. For now, I'm going to enjoy this evening by sitting in the dark, with only the Christmas tree lights glowing. Ahhh!! My spirit is at peace!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Health Update

I don't want to write most of these posts about my fibro, but I also want to share what's going on. So -- here's the latest.

The Cymbalta is definitely working and I'm starting to have more "good days". Unfortunately, this isn't one of them, but that's to be expected. Honestly, I still hurt somewhere on my body almost all of the time. Today, both of my arms feel like they are burning. I'm used to my forearms burning/hurting, but the past couple of days, the backs of my arms have been feeling like this, too. It feels like when something has rubbed against your skin for a long time and left it sore and sensitive. Wearing shirts is uncomfortable.

My left leg feels like that a little bit, plus it is weak and tired. The strangest part is the top of my rear! Let me tell ya -- having that part of your body hurt is no fun at all! When my leg hurts, it often impacts my walking. Today, I had someone ask me if I was OK. She said she could see me limping a little bit.

I have 6 large ulcers in my mouth. I have always gotten lots of ulcers, but the past few years I haven't had very many at all. I had almost forgotten how badly they hurt! YUCK! I'm guessing that there's just "something in my system" right now. I'll sure be glad when "it's" gone!

For the most part, I think my energy level is starting to come back. I'm still tired, but it's not as bad as it was. I'm not having to take a nap during the work day. I still take a break and sometimes sleep, but I don't have to.

My scalp hasn't been hurting! Yay!

Here's what I know....
1) Lack of sleep is a big trigger.
2) Stress is a big trigger.
3) Cold weather is a trigger.
4) A drastic weather change is a trigger.
5) Cymbalta is a necessity!
6) Everyone I've told has been amazingly supportive!
7) An epson salt bath really helps.
8) I have an amazing husband who is crazy about me!

I am blessed!