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Thursday, May 30, 2013

What I Will Miss...What I Look Forward To

Wow! Half a month has passed and I have posted nothing. That shows how busy I have been. All of the things on the list from the last post have been crossed off. We are T minus 1 day away from being completely packed and ready for vacation before we embark on our family's next chapter. I will not return to our South Georgia home after vacation, but Drew will come back to load up the truck and haul it all to our new home. Its funny because it really isn't a new home for me, but I will get to that in a bit.

I wanted to write about what I will dearly miss about where we live now and how it relates to what I am looking forward to.

I will miss my job. I will miss my coworkers. I will miss my sweet South Georgia babies who entered my classroom smiling and ready to learn each day. Smiley Elementary is a wonderful school. I have made friendships there that will never be forgotten. I told my principal on my last day this week that this has been the best job of my whole life. Even over all the piddly fun little highschool and college jobs, my position as a K5 special education teacher takes the cake. The school is truly awesome, my co-workers are super nice and helpful, and most importantly I feel that I really made a difference in my students' education.

On my last day, my co-teacher said a speech that of course made me cry and my K5 team gave me a beautiful necklace to remember them by. Wregina said that I would always have a kidney table to call home in her classroom. She spoke of the strides we had made over the years with our students and how much we were alike. I have found a life long friend in her and I can't wait till I see her again so we can catch up. We are already discussing when she will come visit.

My sweet babies this year! Co-teaching is so awesome.

My beautiful and talented co-teacher and I at Open House.
I am going to miss this chic!
What I will look forward to is the new challenging 5th - 8th graders awaiting me next school year. I got a job teaching resource at a charter school, whose focus is health and fitness. I taught middle school at my first job and loved it. I am looking forward to going back to teaching middle school. I am excited for the challenge of learning new standards and strategies for struggling learners. I am ready to meet my new work friends and form teaching bonds with fellow teachers. I know this job will be tough. These kids are Title One. They come from inner city neighborhoods, but the school has a major goal that every child will graduate from the highschool that is connected to it. Oh yeah...I am ready for that challenge!

I will miss all the people that were part of our family's life. From the UPS woman that knew to drop our packages off at the school; Our neighbors who would lend a hand or a tool just like that when we called; Marloe and Grayson's wonderful preschool/daycare teachers that treated them like their own; All of Grayson's wonderful doctor's and therapists who wanted him to succeed and lead a typical life; Our wonderful friends we made from being involved in the local community theatre; My running buddies and girlfriends I went off with to the beach, the movies, or just to escape;Work friends; Church friends; Dance Teachers;Babysitters; My sis-in-law who is only 45 minutes away...JUST EVERYONE!!!! We will miss you dearly. You were with us when we began our family. You were there when Grayson received his diagnosis at two days old. You were our support system when Grayson had his surgeries. You were our family. Thank you for accepting us into your community. Thank you for your generosity and support. We love you!

My friends and I at our first mud run.
I will miss it this year because of moving and closing. :(
I will miss our afternoon sweat sessions after work each day.

Aunt BT and Marloe.
Brittany was the only friend I had when I first moved here.
 She was my savior! We will miss being so close BT. Love you!

Girls Nights Out! These were what kept me sane.

True friendships and memories never to be forgotten!

Love my friend Elizabeth! Drew called her his "non-wife".
She was one of the first friends I made here through the community theatre.
I love our girl talks! Now we will be friends for life.

Grayson and Marloe playing with the neighborhood kids on his first birthday.
Great place to live and make friends!

Drew, Grayson, and I at the Buddy Walk last October with a local news anchor.
The Low Country Down Syndrome Community is involved and always
offering ways to connect with other families.

Marloe at her first Dance performance. She loves Ms. Cheryl.

Grayson rockin' it in PT with his Ms. Elaina.
We will miss seeing you each week!

I look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I am returning to my home town. In the age of Facebook, I have not lost touch with anyone, but I want to reconnect. I am ready to reform bonds and make new friendships in my life. I look forward to getting to know the Down Syndrome Alliance families where we are moving. They have already been super helpful in suggesting doctors for Grayson. In a larger city, Drew and I will have more oppurtunities to get involved in the DS community. Grayson is already awaiting an evaluation into a special early intervention school just for children with special needs. Words cannot even describe how super excited I am to have that support. Not to mention, my dad's entire side of the family lives there and my mom.

Lastly, I will miss our home. Drew and I bought this house shortly after we were married. We added on, decorated, and learned what it was like to be homeowners. We formed a family here. We became parents. We became parents of a child with special needs. We became parents of a toddler X2. It is bitter sweet. I wish we could move the whole house with us and just lay it on top of our new home.
Christmas 2012
Saturday Morning, Half Naked, Play

South Georgia Dirt Roads are Great for ATVs

The screen porch addition was key.

Lots of first in this house.

Lots of firsts for Grayson, too.

Always warm in South Georgia.

But I look forward to growing as a family together at our new home. We are moving into my mother's house. It is the house I lived in when I was in middle and highschool. I have not lived there since I went to college. My mother is converting the basement into an apartment for her. We are living upstairs.

I know you may be thinking, "moving back in with your mother!", but we have a pretty sweet deal. We will have separate living spaces, laundry rooms, entrances, porches, etc. My mom has already told me that she will help out, but she is not our live in babysitter. She has her own life and she respects that we have ours. It works out for everyone because we can all help eachother out. And later on in life when my mother may need more help she will be with us already. Eventually Marloe or Grayson can live downstairs independently if that is what they want.

I am very excited about the entire move. My family will be right there and Drew's is only 2 hours away. It took having one child to think about moving back towards home, but it took having a second child with special needs to really seal the deal. Our family has a lot to look forward to. Although we are waving goodbye to wonderful people and memories with tears in our eyes, I know this is what is best for our family.

So I will try not to be completely slack during this stressful time. Because we all know moving is stressfull. Hopefully I will be able to post some pics from our vacation next week before the chaotic moving experience begins. Have a wonderful weekend. Hope your summer is great!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ode to my Mom

This post is to wish my wonderful mother Mother's Day! She has been so wonderful to me throughout my entire life. (Even those couple of years where she was premenopausal and I was pubescent. Yes, feel sorry for my dad.)

I seriously could not have had a better life with anyone other than her.

I know we have disagreements and even after all these years I still need to work on being a better daughter, but, Coot Bridges, you win in the mother department. Thanks for being my everything! I love you.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Busy busy busy

This weekend we had a very successful moving out yard sale. It would have been better with out the on and off constant drizzle, but we still have enough to foot the bill for a moving truck. The Daddy just got back from dropping off the rest at the local Goodwill.

Now for the home stretch...and the list begins.
Two field days
Daddy daughter field trip
Mother's Day
Four IEP meetings with my students
Sis in law bachelorette weekend in Nashville
Home inspection
Exit doc appointments
Packing, packing, and more packing
Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork to prepare for the move.
End of year teacher checkout
AND....FINALLY....the annual family beach trip then....WE MOVE!

Okay. I just have to breathe because I can get through this. For now we are just relaxing on a Sunday.

Have a great week!