Welcome to my Day dreams...

Thanks for stoppin' in and welcome to my Day Dreams.

I am a former educator turned PhD student and avid foodie. This blog contains my thoughts regarding all of these areas of my life. Take your time, browse around, and hopefully you'll find something you like. --Love, Katy

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to everyone. I'm excited to let you all know that I finished my first semester back in school. There were definitely a few moments (especially in that last two weeks) that I wasn't exactly sure that would happen, but here we are :).

I am sad to report, however, that my Mamaw passed at the beginning of this month.

She always gave great hugs and made a mean pecan pie and her biscuits are something I try to recreate.

I believe that it is a testament to their relationship that Mamaw did not live much longer after Papaw passed. They spent the majority of their lives together and even though she wasn't always "with us" lately, I think she knew deep down that Papaw was gone. Now they are together again, they will both be missed.

So, Christmas is around the corner (this Friday). Here is a picture of Clover "helping" (see...eating) with the tree. We have already had our first snow of the season (CRAZY) and I am convinced that I have got to find some fur-lined pants for walking around campus all winter. Burr!

I am spending my first major family holiday away from my family this year.

I know that I will absolutely cry about it on Christmas, even though I am spending it with my boyfriend and his family (they are such nice people).

Before I go on with my own thoughts on this next step in my life, let me take a moment to acknowledge all the service men and women and also those doing other good deeds around the globe who are also spending the holidays away from their families. You all are amazing and are making the world a better place. Thank you for all you do.

Splitting up holidays is something that people start to think about and experience in their twenties. Many of us (my sister included) are also hosting their own holidays for our families. It kind of tugs at my heart sometimes to realize that we're the ones who are making these kinds of decisions and plans now. It's a lot of pressure, at times, and difficult to be the planners. Amazing how our parents accomplished this for years--and continue to do so today.

Sometimes there is such an urge not to grow up--to just be able to lay around and experience the holidays, knowing that the only thing I may have to do is help with the dishes or assist with making dinner. I won't have to decide what to make, who we should give presents to, what kind of service activities or donations should be given. Just dishes and stirring the pot.

The reality of it is, though, that I am excited to start my own traditions. I do especially enjoy making the food. Trying new recipes and cooking for others is something that makes me feel like I am able to give back and take care of those that I love. Which is why, just now, I've decided I really need to make something special this week...I'll let you know how that goes.

As for giving to others on the holiday season, I know that one of the things I can always improve on is the amount of service I do for others. Being out of the school system, I feel that I am missing this element lately. I am lucky to be able to contribute a little to a cause I feel strongly about and want to share it with you:

Share our strength works on ending childhood hunger.

In the spirit of the holiday season, I encourage everyone to do something a little special (no matter how little) for others this season (it can even be a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket or a few cans of food at a food bank). Enjoy your family, help others, and enjoy the holidays! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family”

So much has happened since the last post (granted it has been awhile). This last month has been packed full of very extreme feelings and situations.

Last month we lost our Papaw. He was a wonderful man and lived a long life. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend in the Tennessee mountains for the funeral. People were so sweet to bring an abundance of food to my Mamaw and my uncles, who are still living in town. Two hawks flew over and a train sounded during the service-- Papaw loved hawks and worked for the railroad. I have to tell you that one of the most amazing things that happened was that the entire town shut down to allow the funeral service to go through. Every corner had an officer and people stepped out of their homes to pay their respects as the funeral procession went by. I can't even describe how precious that was. Papaw was buried with full military honors in the family plot.

Throughout the weekend, we told our "Papaw" stories. Some of the few that I remember:
-Papaw used to pop out his teeth at us when we least expected it--scary, but I credit my dental hygiene to those moments.
-Papaw used to call me, "Ms. Molly O'Day"- I have no idea why, but it stuck for years.
-He used to send us 50 cent pieces on our birthdays.
-We used to play baseball with a plastic yellow bat in the backyard--it was so much fun.
-Papaw was also present for the first and last time I have ever shot a gun in my whole life.
-I caught a sting ray in Florida with Papaw and we went fishing on their boat.

He will be very missed.

Two weeks later my cousin Stephen got married. Congrats Stephen and Cambridge! It was a beautiful service that was very "them". Flower petals lined the aisle and Stephen and Cambridge created and decorated the arbor that they got married under. The party was full of laughter, good music, LoVe and dancing.

We also got all of the cupcakes finished and they were delicious. It is so much fun to do this for the people we love. Hopefully, I will get some other pictures, as well-- but here are a few:

While this has been a whirlwind month, it has been full of family and love--the things that get me through each and every day. It would be nice to slow down and be able to soak it all in, but I guess that will have to wait til I turn in my last assignment in December ;).

Enjoy the day! Love your family!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Never Aim For Perfection, Always Aim For Excellence

What a week! I started my graduate program on Tuesday and that was a swift kick in the tail! The last few weeks have been difficult while taking this new turn in my life, but this week was like pulling onto a highway in the middle of Atlanta at 5:00 on a Friday. Choice words were said, tears were shed, and the prayers were made in hopes of survival.

Regardless, I am inspired and excited for what is to come. I only hope that I can raise the bar and achieve these things that I want so badly. It is no joke when people say that being out of school makes it harder to go back. I find myself trying to remember how I read through all these articles so quickly, but managed to get the important information out of them? How do I write a paper? How do I remind myself of huge assignments?

Sidebar-just ran out of the amazing coffee my sister brought to the beach...this is a shameless plug to have that be my Christmas present! hint hint...

I think one of the things that I see being the hardest part of all this is how to organize my life. The past two times that I went to school (yeah... two already!). Most of the people around me were also in school. Hence, we had similar schedules, could relate when one of us couldn't be fun for the weekend because we had a paper, and spontaneous bouts of crying/falling asleep at random ten minute intervals in the day was normal.

It's going to take a lot more effort, on my part, to make sure I set some limits on myself, communicate with others about their schedules and mine, and learn the word "no" (the no part was from a 15 minute lecture from my doctor on the importance of that word in going back to school). I know it'll take some time and now that I have an assistantship (praise the Lord!), things may be a little more predictable in the short run. I say this, which means I'll break my leg tomorrow and throw the whole thing off.

And finally- I just need to suck it up and go with it. This is what I want, so I should just be happy about it. AND I found out that 2 girls in my program just had babies (one during her first year of this). If they can do it, I sure as heck better be able to! Dang!

Anyway, now that I have enjoyed my coffee, it's time to get started on the daily chores and my paper. I will leave you with a face that always makes me smile.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Change will do you good....and give you anxiety

Oh man y'all, I tell you--even good stress is still stress. I have been a giant nut lately with all the impending changes that are approaching in a matter of about a week or so and I am responding in two ways:

A: Being a lazy bum:
-haven't run in over a week
-spend hours trying to read all the books I have gotten from the library before I have to read text books
-wanting to stress eat sweets is at a high (see first bullet under point A)

B: Being super crazy energizer bunny with sporadic bouts of uncontrollable tears
-scheduling how to watch supernatural in the fall has taken up more hours than I am proud of and caused too many arguments (not kidding)
-I have made sure to make a shower one of the priorities of the day on more than one occasion (because it just hasn't happened since... hmm)
-should not be allowed to drive as I continually recalculate my new proposed budget in my head and simultaneously ream myself for giving in to starbucks and spending 4 dollars on a chocolate coconut frappacino (by the way-tastes like a mounds bar in a cup- DELICIOUS!) and subsequently forget where I am going

On a positive note, my closet/desk hasn't ever been cleaner, the books I have read have been excellent, and I have tried some new workouts at home.

The problem here is, I just haven't set my schedule yet. I'm confident that it will get better soon (right kids?!). I know this is a silly entry, but thought that I would share- and apologize to my loved ones for my craziness and thank you for setting me straight :). Love y'all--

Monday, July 19, 2010

The beach!

Just returned from A WHOLE WEEK at the beach. It was so wonderful. We visited St. Augustine. It was gorgeous and I'm so thankful for the time I was able to spend with my family, especially my grandmother.

So many memories came back of our family trips to the beach from my childhood. We were so fortunate to have been able to spend two weeks every summer with our family: my grandparents, my mother's two brother's families, and various other relatives. This was ALL thanks to my grandparents. This was a huge part of my life and I attribute these times to the amazing relationships that I have with my extended family--something I realize as I get older, that not everyone else has. Thanks, Nana and Grandpa.

I hope as I start to figure out my life's path that this can be something that I can continue.

There were so many funny moments this week. From Edson dropping the air mattress pump during a minor tiff, "epic fail", "you've just been grey-haired", our almost explosion of a grill (not our fault, but that could have been bad!), and other things that are not appropriate for public consumption (but will probably be retold at the next family get together).

It just brings it all back for me. Sitting on the porch, I would remember how when we were kids we would create these major productions to put on for our parents (I believe that we did a play once that was all about mice and I'm pretty sure we devoted a whole song to names of cheese a la Forrest Gump).

I remember the epic battle for the biggest sharks tooth ever found-- I've never seen Jess run that fast.

Choreographing dances to Billy Joel- Blond over Blue was my fave.

Sneaking peach pie crust in the night while Chris and I caught up over our lives over the past year.

Fighting over who got to babysit Sara that day and watching endless hours of blues clues.

Getting up at 4 AM and digging out chicken livers to go fishing.

There are too many to write now, but I have decided that we really need to write these down. Nana is writing the stories of her children for us and I really think that we should do this for ours. I'm trying to think about how to do it, will get back to you on that.

Hope you all enjoyed our tiny trip down memory lane. So looking forward to trying to get back to the beach asap. Hopefully, I will get picks from mom soon to post.

Peace out kiddos--

Friday, June 18, 2010

A change will do you good...

Hello summertime! Woooohooo! As I sit here with my mother and grandmother having a discussion about where education is going and the reality of education today, I am excited to finally write about the fact that I am going back to school in the fall to try and learn more about it myself. This fall I'll be going back to get my doctorate in educational psychology. I am psyched and I think the ridiculousness of standardized testing and the constant coverage of education cuts has made me even more determined to go advocate for our educators and do research to show what is going on in education today.

Granted, I'm totally terrified but I know that this is the next step for me to be taking. Thanks to all of the support from my family and friends--it was not an easy decision and I am still working on all the specifics, but there is now a feeling of peace and a readiness that has developed as I approach the starting line. I know this has a lot to do with all the encouragement I am receiving-- so HUGE thanks.

I feel that the twenties is a great time of change. People graduating, getting married, changing careers, having babies, becoming a responsible adult- that is a lot to take on in a decade! At times it makes me feel that I don't know crap--and this is probably true. I will say that it is nice to step on to the next phase and have some feeling of solid direction and settling (we'll see how I feel in the fall). It comes with a lot of anxiety, but I'm pumped to say the least.

On a lighter note, would love to share some "good things":

Finished the Race for the Cure in 35.45. Had SUCH a blast with my friends and felt honored to run for Ann and Suzanne and all my other friends who have been touched by this disease. What an empowering feeling to see all the people running for that cause.

Got to see 1 year old Shelby- although for only a few minutes, it is always such a rush of happiness to see her smiling face! I also got to introduce her to my department which was really fun.

Had a great time babysitting the newest addition, Riley, yesterday and hangin out with my cousin, C. I've got some pictures below. I really treasure my family time--we're very blessed. Really looking forward to heading to the beach in a few weeks! Wee!

Life is good... summer is awesome. YAY!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Begin here, begin now

Happy Memorial Day! I have to tell you that I am so excited to have this day off-- it was much needed. Thanks to all the troops out there, including in my own family. Thanks for all you do and all you have done.

Also- little shout out to my mother whose birthday is tomorrow. Greatest mom ever-- thank you, too.

So, this week was the conclusion to my young women book group at church. It was such a great experience. During our last session we ended by talking about what we feel like we have changed and what we still need to work on since being in the group. I think whenever we are confronted with this type of question, I think that our natural response is to point out the one or two things that we have put in to practice well and then a list of things we want to do better. I feel like I need to read the whole book over again (we were reading Heart to Heart-- designed for groups).

In response to this, one of the girls was talking about a sermon from a church in NY where the pastor was talking about how to take control of your life and get you to where you want to be (I'm still trying to find the exact one on the website so that I can read the whole thing. If I do- I'll post it). He gave 10 different bits of advice, saying that we ALL have a list of things that we feel we still need to improve/accomplish. The first two were "begin here" and "begin now"--basically, the short of it being that you can't go back and change anything and we are not usually in a position where there is absolutely nothing that we don't have going for us, but you do have to take that step. Life is going to keep going. It may be a small step, but then you take another.

I related to this a lot in that I feel like I go through these phases where I am ready to revamp how I prioritize my life. Usually this starts with a list and I decide that I will just "start over". I try starting eighty bajillion things all at the same time and then get frustrated when I tap out because I can't get a handle on it all. The reality is that we will never be wholly satisfied for where we are in our lives, nor should we be since we always will have room to grow to be a better person. This does not mean, however, that we haven't accomplished a lot or that improvement is out of reach (no baby and the bath water kind of thing).

So, I'm going to try to be a little more forgiving with myself (for example, I'm really proud of myself for sticking it out in a 9 month book group- yay!)and take it one improvement at a time (creating 1 or 2 more good habits- not 20) and begin right where I am, right now. That being said- I'm off to the pool for a little me time ;)-- happy day ya'll.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Race For the Cure June 12th

Help me run Race for the Cure June 12th!


We all have someone close to us who has had or been affected by this disease. Let's do our part to help find a cure, even if it is just wishing me good luck-- thanks!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How long til my soul gets it right?

They're still alive! Amazing... I always have such a hard time with plants--mostly because they don't tell me what they need--are you hungry? Do you need more sun? Less? OH! you're still there... forgot--since you make no noise.

Sometimes lately I feel like this is how I treat areas of my life. I feel like there are always so many things that I should be managing. How's my financial portfolio (or lack thereof)? Which people have I not contacted in an absurd amount of time? Have I made all of my yearly doctor's appointments, crap... I haven't worked out in three days. Yet, like my plants, these things aren't screaming for me to update them, contact them, etc. Sometimes I feel like I am scrambling just to keep it all afloat--watering areas of my life when they start to wilt rather than regularly tending to them so that wiltage (yeah, I made that word up) isn't even a possibility.

And props to all you parents out there-- how do you have the energy, much less the memory, to be taking care of all of these things for you AND your kids... although, at least they tell you when they need food.

Anyway, I can't say that I have this particular issue figured out. I'll let you know when I do... in the meantime, I'm going to go water the plants.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The fate of Education

So, a few weeks ago I attended the County Commissioners meeting to discuss cuts to education in the coming year. I know it has been awhile, but I still feel the need to discuss what happened since it will definitely be affecting us next year.

I was so impressed and inspired by all the people that spoke and told their stories. It was also extremely scary to realize the impact that this will have on our educators and our children.

Here is basically what I said during the meeting:

I have been a counselor in the public schools for three years and I am begging you not to cut education this year.
Now I know that it is extremely difficult to balance a budget on a deficit. Trust me, in the absence of my experience pay and spontaneous furlough funds being taken out of my paycheck, I have experience-- even if it is on a smaller scale.
I came to North Carolina to get my degree as a counselor from one of the best schools in the nation- the University of North Carolina. I fell in love with this area and have worked with the best teachers I have ever seen.
I came in to this profession at the beginning of these cuts and I have had a case load of over 500 students- 10 to 15 in our middle school for three years. As the economy has suffered, our children suffer. I have never seen so many children with so many needs in my life--ranging from homelessness to depression to suicidal ideation and child abuse. But for these students, school is one of the few places they can go to feel safe and see a future.
As these classrooms grow and their needs become more severe, we are left with not more help, but more cuts. And it is not just in our building but also those services outside our school that we need to help our kids.
On a personal note, I have also held four jobs for the past two years (one of which was cut this year) in order to try and keep myself afloat--to pay for the job that I wanted to do. Needless to say, the effect is not only felt in the classroom, but at home.
I tell these children every day-education is their ticket. This is their ticket to the life they want to live, the things they want to have-- the ability to choose the job they want, not one that is chosen for them.
Please do not make this an empty promise--please do not make me a liar.

I seriously worry about what will happen to our kids. This is the foundation of our society and the most important thing for our children. I just hope that people will listen and that not just the educators will speak up for what is happening to our community.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring is on it's way...

A second entry! Progress... It could be the copious amounts of free coffee I have consumed while getting my car repaired this morning, or the fact that I am hopefully healing pretty well after surgery, but I am feeling pretty productive today.

I'm so excited to see the little glimpses of spring around. I'm done with snow and winter, so I am purposefully ignoring the inevitable coldness that will return in the coming months as the temperatures rise and fall on a semi-daily basis.

Anyway, I am really lucky to have such great friends and family- both of which were so helpful while being couch-ridden for a week (and the last few months). I have been reading Bitter is the New Black, a gift from a good friend. I haven't laughed this hard from a book in a long time. It's brilliant.

It also makes me wonder about my own dreams about creating my own business. I don't know how many people I have talked to about starting a bakery or cafe. Maybe if we all moved in to the same city it would be more possible-- or if I knew more about starting a business and had the super important first step--$$$.

Until that point (if it ever comes to be), I can still enjoy the work.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

So this blog was created over a year ago...

So I created this blog over a year ago and have yet to write my true thoughts down. Fear of writing things of no consequence? yes... Fear of getting in trouble for what I actually want to write? yesss... To think it's silly that I would even be that important for it to even matter? yeah... that, too.

Regardless, (not irregardless--thanks J, had my own argument about that with someone last night), I am loving being updated on other people's lives, even those who I talk to on a regular basis, about things that I may miss day to day. Given recent events and the fact that people I love are literally located coast to coast (and sometimes around the world), I think this may be a cool way of keeping in touch with each other and sharing what's going on in our worlds.

So while this is not a revolutionary start, hopefully I will continue to think about really taking advantage of this opportunity.

We'll see....