Sunday, March 31, 2013

That Time I Got a Job

Y'all read that right folks, I GOT A JOB!
Not just any job either, I got a job at my DREAM school.
I am truly humbled by the fact that the Lord chose to bless me this way. I am so, so undeserving.
I got hired at Mooreland Heights Elementary School.
Eek! I still can't believe it.
It all started over a year ago. I did my pre-internship six-week rotation in third grade at Mooreland. And LOVED it.
Naturally, I wanted to intern there. We don't get to chose our school, but we do get to choose the type of school, Title 1 or suburban. I chose Title I but got placed at UT's other Title I internship school. I loved it there. (I think I would have loved it anywhere- I just love teaching.) Unfortunately, after my pull-out in fifth grade at a different school, my original mentor had a family crisis and wisely decided to no longer have an intern. I was devastated. You may remember me crying the entire end of October- rough month.
I'm embarrassed now though, because here's the thing, through the whole thing, God was writing an incredible story. He was weaving together people and events to lead me to where I am right now. Abundantly joyful at accepting my dream job.
 I was in Memphis for a wedding when my professor (who is the BEST of all time) got the news that my original mentor could not take me back after my pull-out. She knew I was in Memphis though and wisely decided not to ruin the wedding weekend with this news. I'm so grateful for that. When I got back to Knoxville on Sunday, she called and broke the news to me, however, by this time, she had also already found a potentially new mentor for me at Mooreland Heights. She apologized for it happening and for me having to not only change grade levels, but also schools. I cried. Of course. But hearing that I was going to be at MHES soften the blow. I knew that I loved that school.
Thanks to all the awesome people who for some reason decided to accept me into a new school as an intern in the middle of the year, I got placed in second grade with a rockin' mentor teacher.
This is my mentor teacher's second year teaching so we figure out a lot of stuff together. She really is the best. I cannot say enough great things about the entire staff at MHES. They work together and help each other way more than any staff I have ever seen. It's wonderful.
I found out on Wednesday afternoon that I was going to interview on Thursday at noon. With LOTS of help from the second grade team, I pulled together a portfolio with everything I needed. I even got letters of recommendations in time! Including one from each of my kiddos! They are too funny not to share, so here's a couple of them for your enjoyment.
This one calls me "Ms. Croffert." So close. She also mentions my beautiful and funny voices. Vital teacher qualities.


In this one I am "swety".

This is one of my favorites!

And this sweet boy isn't even in my class but wanted to write a letter. He's awesome (and so is his teacher!)

We had a field trip on Thursday morning, got back at 11:30, I interviewed at 12:00, and left for the beach at 4:00. To say the least, Thursday was a whirlwind!
I was excited nervous all weekend.
[Side note: Knox County schools hire May- August so I wasn't expecting a job until summer. God is good.]
At 8:20 on Monday morning I got a call. I was downstairs chatting and drinking coffee with my friends. I ran upstairs to grab my bathing suit and saw I had a call and voice mail. Being an intern for a year has made me very familiar with those "594" numbers. (Slight teacher joke there- sorry 'bout it). Cue shaking and sweaty palms here. I listened to the voice mail and called the woman back. She told me she had a job offer at Mooreland Heights for me. I think I probably told her "thank you" 467 times. She laughed at me. And said she assumed that meant I accepted. I of course told her "yes, yes, yes" and "thank you" a couple more times. I'm not really sure what else she said. Somethings about calling again after Spring Break to get the papers signed and all. I was happy crying by this point.
After I hung up I ran downstairs and announced it to my friends. They clapped and cheered and called me Ms. Crawford and made me feel so special. I ran back up stairs to call Dr. Miller (and thank him a thousand times) and my mom and my mentor teacher and my UT professor and girls who are interning with me and the second grade team and my roommates and EVERYONE was so stinkin' excited for me. It makes me want to happy cry again.
I feel so blessed to have so many people around me who truly celebrate with me. Thank you to each one of you. I don't think words can say how grateful I am for how special and loved and excited you made me feel. I feel like this is a theme in my life. I am humbled by the love and kindness of others. I hope I can be the same to y'all. Seriously, thank you.

I saw this quote on Twitter the same day I got the job at Mooreland, "The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank." -Dante Gabriel Rossetti. SO thankful I have someone to thank. God's faithfulness is so evident in this part of my life. I am so undeserving of His goodness. But so grateful for it none the less.

Sorry for all the rambling, I'm just a teeny tiny bit excited. I have ZERO doubts Mooreland Heights is exactly where I am supposed to be. God is so good and so faithful. I am beyond pumped to get to start my teaching career at this incredible school!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

He Put a Ring On It

Procrastination at it's finest meets my love of love...

I've been trying to hold back blogging about this until Jenn had a chance to. BUT I JUST CAN'T RESIST IT ANYMORE!
Since I love words and I love love (and writing commentary for grad school just isn't doin' it for me) I feel like I am doing the world a disfavor by not blogging about this.


 Swoon to the max.
Sorry for the PDA, Bloggies, but this is just too good to hold back.
I really will let Jenn share the story on her blog (one of these days...) but from my perspective it was absolutely magical. Although I'm about 96% sure I gave myself gray hairs the week leading up to the engagement, as I did everything I could to not blow the surprise to Jenn. If you know me, even a little bit, you know that I am the furthest thing from subtle. (Insert area for self-improvement.) Sweet Ryan Facebook messaged the "Bearden Crew" with his brilliant plan. (Another side note here: How many fist pumps and leg kicks can I do every morning for still being BFFs with the girls I went to high school with?! #Blessed. But seriously.) Our job was easy. Get Jenn to go to dinner at Calhoun's. On the river. At 6:00. On a Saturday night. Really it sounds easy, but when our typical go to dinners are to places like Moe's on Northshore or Chickfila DTO, Calhoun's on the river is stepping it up significantly. Jenn went for it though. And Saturday night has us screeching into the parking lot on two wheels. Running late as usual, we were desperately trying to beat Jenn there (who refused to carpool with the rest of us). We had to work our magic and pull some strings, but we were able to jump line and get the next available table. Even one overlooking the river. I'm sure the people waiting ahead of us were not happy at this little maneuver but OUR FRIEND WAS GETTING ENGAGED. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Plus, we couldn't let Ryan down. Once Jenn finally found a parking spot and made it in (and after Reba had 100% made her feel like a goof for creating a completely fictional (although truly scaringly accurate) scenario in her head in which she got engaged that night) we made small talk and tried our hardest to be normal. (Note: Trying to be normal typically has the opposite of the desired effect.) Jenn grilled Cassie on her boyfriend and her "job interview" (which she had been praying for) while the rest of tried to calmly talk about what we were ordering and how mundane and totally uneventful our weeks had been. Ryan snuck into the restaurant and up behind Jenn. He asked if she could step outside, he had a question to ask her. To which she replied, "Me?!" 
Jenn will seriously have to take it from here. She's much better at finishing the story. But from our perspective, we giggled and shrieked and told our waitress and everyone who would listen about what was happening. Meanwhile, Ryan took Jenn to a swing where they talked and he showed her a book he made her of the timeline of their relationship. Then he asked her to be his wife. EEP! And two of our friends did their part and shot of fireworks in remembrance of Jenn and Ryan's first date: Boomsday. Classic. When we heard the fireworks from inside I'm pretty sure we reacted even more overly excited than Jenn did.
Ryan and Jenn came back in and showed us the ring and we ooohed and awwed and shrieked some more. I'm tell y'all, it was magical. They then stopped at every table on their way out to see their families as everyone in the whole restaurant was now invested in this newly engaged couple. Not that we were causing a scene of course...
We all met back at Jenn's house, the Cheetah, for a surprise party. Absolutely perfect.
Jenn got engaged two weeks ago and both Saturdays since then I've been hoping for us to get to relive that night. Or at least get to throw another engagement party soon!
Jenn- So beyond excited for you! Now BLOG! :)

Beaden BFFs

So excited I almost squeezed her tiny hand off. Sorry JCam/JBlack :)
 I want to put up more pictures (because I love every single one of them so stinkin' much!!!) but I'll let Jenn share. YAY YAY YAY! Congrats future Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn!

Friday, March 1, 2013


Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

Truth be told, I don't even know who Epicurus actually is. Probably some philosopher. Or a really important man. I hope I'm not embarrassing myself by admitting that.
Anyway, this quote has been a theme in my life, especially for the past three months or so. 
This easily has been one of the most challenging years of my life. Full-time interning, full-time grad school, full-time real life is exhausting and difficult to balance.
But oh I have so much. Y'all, God is so good. 
And so faithful.
I think back to a couple of years ago when this internship was among the things I wanted more than almost anything else. I cannot imagine how I could ever take it for granted when it was such a desire of mine. My entire life I have wanted to be a teacher, and now every day this dream is slowly coming to life. I am so blessed by this opportunity.
Lots of things have not gone as I imagined or planned. One of the many was moving to a new grade, new school, new class, new mentor in the middle of last semester. I cried a lot and was absolutely brokenhearted to not return to the first graders I had come to know and love and call my kids. But now, on the other side of this transition, God's sovereign and perfect plan is unbelievably evident and clear. I am amazed and grateful for His faithfulness in bringing me to a new school, class, staff, mentor I love even more. 
This one clear example is such a wonderful reminder and promise of His faithfulness in all areas of my life. 
I am so humbled and so undeserving, but God is so good. 
And God is so faithful.

Happy weekend.