Keto Living For Now.

I like Keto for a few reasons. The biggest is the way it makes me feel. My mental clarity is amazing. But it is just so good to put restrictions in play when eating for me. I struggle so much with boundaries. I feel like the old me who could never say no but it is worse because I am smaller so it is okay. When it is actually not okay.

But I won’t lie. It is so restrictive. At times I feel deprived and that does bother me and that is also why it isn’t the best diet for me forever. It is the best diet for me for right now.

On that front. I made the best recipe up yesterday. It was keto bacon mushroom alfredo. It was soooo good.

IMG_4162I cut 3 slices of bacon up and sauteed till they were crisp. Then took them out of the pan and threw in some minced garlic, some button mushrooms and sauteed them in the bacon fat in pan. I added a splash of cream once they were close to soft. Then I added Green Giant zoodles frozen and let it go till zoodles were done. Once done I added 1/4 cup of classico alfredo (2 carbs) and mixed. Then plated with bacon bits added on top and sprinkle of parmesan. It made enough for two servings.

Keto is not something I want to do forever. I feel like it helps me so much in the summer though because I am mostly home and I want to just eat snacks all day. Add in my kiddos snacks and that I am in graduate school. Two reasons that I need boundaries.




Year End Wrap Up – Mrs. E Style

Ummm, Sorry about that I guess I am a month late. Sometimes you really do need to IMG_7700recover from the school year and that is certainly me this year. It is a was a great year professionally. It was amazing year in my classroom. However, there were a lot of sleepless and worrying nights of just being a teacher. I know at this point the saying that teaching is the only profession where you stay up worrying about other people’s children is cliche at this point, but it is so true. Our youth are struggling, exhausted beyond measure from pressure from the world and fighting to be heard.

As well, I am an empath teacher which means I often will take on their feelings and struggles. I learned this year I need to sometimes put boundaries on that because when I don’t my family is the one that suffers because there is nothing left for them. My empathy is what makes me a good teacher. My empathy is also my weakness.

IMG_3222 2But enough about that….I hinted at a different type of calling for the last year. This has been in the works for over a year. I was getting what I have deemed shoulder taps. Taps from the universe that I needed to add a new “tool” into my tool belt. The decision came with much urging from some important people to me most of whom knew my desires before I did. Many whom I told after I decided and said, “Well I saw that coming.” Even though the decision still shocks me to this day.

This tells me again that education is clearly my life’s calling. English is my path, rhetoric is my heart, education is my profession and serving others through that has become my passion. I have decided to add educational leadership to my repertoire. I started an accelerated program at Indiana Wesleyan University. I will graduate a year from now and hopefully pass the administrator’s licensure exam and add it to my teaching license.

I will answer the questions I assume most have because I have been getting them all along.

“What will you do with that?”

“But I thought you loved your school and teaching.” 

“Where are you going to go?”

The easy answer to most of them are again I am following where I believe God is leading me. I do love my school. I adore it in fact and know for a fact I would have never been lead this direction without my school. I don’t know what my professional future holds and yes I have goals. Right now I am a dual credit instructor/high school teacher in one of the best high schools in the state and one of the top (if not the top) early colleges in the state. I am not going anywhere.

All of my professional decisions have been made this way and none of them have been wrong or included any regrets and they have always landed me exactly where I was meant to be. I will never forget telling people I was going to be a high school teacher. They thought I was crazy. I heard a lot of, “Why would you do that?” Now I can say hands down, this was single handedly the best decision I have ever made and I made it on a whim and followed what I felt like my gut was saying to do.

This decision is exactly the same. I don’t know why I am doing it, but I do know exactly IMG_3891why I am. I am being lead that way. End of story. So my transition out of the classroom, if and when it happens, will work much the same. I will be lead there. So for now and my foreseeable future, I will still be possessing my “I am that crazy English teacher” persona that I have garnered and truthfully earned. I am right where I am meant to be.

I also want to note that all of my students in my classroom the past 6 years have given me the courage and confidence to even think or dream this could be a possibility. I know I am the teacher, but they all teach me so much and I love them all so very much even though I am terrible at saying it.

And there are definitely some other people that also deserve some massive recognition for my strength and confidence in this decision. The first is my own principal. It takes great leadership to inspire and lead another person to that path. I am not only grateful for the opportunity to work with him, but even more honored he is my mentor through this next journey.

IMG_9368My work bestie going on 7 years strong. She is literally my rock when it comes to all things professional. Yes, I am married to a teacher, but this girl is in the trenches with me daily in almost every imaginable way possible. We do almost every thing together. Her friendship and ability to cheer me on from the sidelines is unparalleled. Rarely do I let my personal fears and insecurities out in the professional setting, but she is always someone who I can be me with when I need it. So thank you…..Mrs. D.

My guy….I could cry just thinking of his unending love and support. When I mentioned this was a possibility I thought for sure he would think I was crazy. I had my “speech” all prepared for why it was a good idea. I didn’t need it. He immediately said, “When do you start?” That kind of love is rare and I know that. But that is also the kind of love that pushes you to be your best self and yes heIMG_1158 has always had that effect on me.

And my baby girls who I am continually trying to show they can be anything they want to be in the world and that there is no dream too big or no goal they cannot conquer. They were not surprised in the least either. All of my family of five expected this and I think knew before I did.

Every year I look for my lesson of the year. This one was different and was way more personal than in years passed. Usually it some teaching technique or something that furthers me as a professional. This year’s lesson was two fold. It will move me more forward professionally, but personally I learned to draw boundaries as a teacher and a human being. But I also learned I can do so much more than I ever have given myself credit for. The funny thing about that lesson is I keep reteaching myself that lesson over and over and over.

So yea…year end wrap. Lesson for this year always push yourself further than you think you can go. Dream the impossible. It can happen. – MR

Hey Mrs. E…

As I walked out of the overly air conditioned building on the cool June evening I am in a rush, my principal just asked me to get something from the car. It is the end of the IMG_1641graduation ceremony and everyone wants to get on their way. As the sun hits my face I hear to the far left of me, “Hey Mrs. E” with a big, bright smile and the most enthusiastic hand wave. A student that only 30 minutes before this walked off the stage and I burst with happiness and tears at the accomplishment. He hugged me tight and I sadly muttered, “I am so very proud of all your hard work.” I know that is what I am supposed to say. But I truly meant it.

As I walked away from the building every where you looked there were families celebrating my students.  But in that moment, I saw families celebrating their children. I saw first generation students beam with pride as their parents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, and grandparents looked on in awe of their accomplishments. I saw so much diversity, love, and uniqueness that I thought my heart would burst.

I thought to myself. This is why I do this. This is my purpose. I have gotten to be such a fun and meaningful part of such an amazing school. But this year was hard. I emotionally struggled in a lot of ways I never have. The emotional toll of educating wore me down. The one thing that likely touches all educators, but most of us never really talk about for a variety of reasons most of which are private and we cannot share.

So we sit with it, sometimes it grows and festers, and sometimes we get lucky and we find a vice that helps us channel it in a healthy way. Sometimes the vice is eating tacos every Friday night and other times is a weekly shopping trip to Target. On a good day for me it is a 4:30AM work out and a night I can manage to stay up until 9:30. But on a bad day, I eat a little too much chocolate and head to bed by 7:30.

But I do it for students like him. I do it for the students who have no clue how much of my own self I put into my classroom and my job. I do it for the ones who sometimes make it hard. I do it for the ones who need me most either my teaching, my motherly style, my sassy self, the strong independent woman, or even just a consistent positive person. I do it for all of them that need a teacher like me because I needed and luckily had a teacher like me.

But in that moment in the parking lot, I heard, “Hey, Mrs. E…” I looked back at him. I waved as hard and emphatically as he did and as I walked away I smiled because it happened. I get to do what I love. I am a educator.

Gratefully, MR.

Goodbye, Class of 2018.

Every year this post exists. I bid adieu to our current class…my previous crop of students. I teach primarily juniors. I have a sprinkle of seniors. But in their junior years, I spend a lot of time with them. A lot. This class came to me after losing one of their very loved teachers, spending a lot of time with another English teacher that they love dearly. I was essentially an interloper. It scared me and I felt defeated from the beginning. They scared me (Read my 2016-2017 year end wrap up). But I know one thing. My heart and the importance of being authentically myself in the classroom. That is what this class did for me. They gave me confidence to see beyond my own reach because I feel like they had to do that and I got to witness it.

The second and likely most impactful to me as a professional and personally was feeling my own calling and purpose shift and change. The world has been trying to tell me awhile, but I ignored it or just wasn’t picking up on it. I am not even sure I have entirely figured it out. But I am getting there slowly. It isn’t a story I am ready to tell or even have put all together. But I have found a voice I didn’t know I had. Now I just need to articulate it. My dream is bigger than I could ever imagine and it scares me.

I have been making huge strides to answer that calling. HUGE. It is only just beginning and that class and my juniors this year (look for my year in wrap up for 2017-2018 school year in the coming days) will be forever linked to this life change for me. They all have no clue; but one group showed me it is okay to do things that people think you can’t/shouldn’t do and the other encouraged me to see beyond my own strengths to get closer to my purpose and to my faith and see how they are inextricably intertwined for me.

Back to the class of 2018…They were underdogs not of their own making. They were the third “child”, our third class. The class where rules were getting firmly established and a little less guinea pig. They had some ownership, but had to work a bit harder for it. They had to go through the same growing pains as our first two classes, but it was different.

The emotional part and the part that made me proud was watching how they rose to the occasion despite the attention being paid to the others. They just plugged away, did their business and waited. I also got to be there and have a front seat in their junior year when people started taking notice and their stories were being made. I am not saying they didn’t start before then, but that is the cool thing about teaching juniors and seniors. They begin finding their voice, their own purpose and you get to see it. I won’t say I underestimated them because I don’t think as a teacher I could ever underestimate my students (again more on that in my year end wrap up). But some did. They underestimated themselves.

I think what I loved most about this class is the accomplishments and stories in those accomplishments. Most of the accomplishments have stories behind them that very few will actually hear.

Yesterday as they walked across the stage and I thought of those stories my heart literally felt like it could burst. I want to scream how hard they worked and tell their stories. But they aren’t my stories. I am just a tiny piece in a gigantic puzzle.

All I know is I will hear their names again. My love and honor to my students of the class of 2018. Love wins. It always does.