A FULL HEART

J A N U A R Y / / 2 0 2 1

  • Something Good: Congratulations to President Biden and our first Madame Vice President (MVP) Kamala Harris! I watched the inauguration during my lunch break. Who wasn’t in awe of Amanda Gorman?!
  • Something New: I’m hosting a student teacher this semester which is a new and rewarding experience. Basically I’m modeling how to play a teacher on television (aka Zoom). She seems to enjoy my sense of humor.
  • Something Challenging: My PCP has been telling me I need to exercise for thirty minutes each day, and I’ve been telling her, have you ever taken care of a gaggle of five-year-olds for a living? I quit putting it off and I invested in a decent spin bike using my first bonus ever. If you use the Peloton app, follow me at xofromtx and I’ll follow you back!
  • Something Sweet: My dear friend Sharon sent me a bunch of hand-me-down J.Crew final sale items including a vibrant pink eyelet sundress. I can’t wait to wear it on my birthday in two months.
  • Something Fun: We kept the Christmas magic going by decorating our mantle for New Year’s Day. Henry and I used cardboard to make star stencils and cut stars out of watercolor paper and an old finger painting.
  • Something Bourgeois: I caved to the luxury sneaker market and bought a pair of Golden Goose shoes. How did I do it? I stopped buying trinkets and trendy tops at TJ Maxx for almost a year; I love TJ Maxx though!
  • Something on Repeat: I discovered Hazel English through a Pandora station. I love her album Just Give In / Never Going Home.
  • Something Incredible: Our school district was able to secure a small supply of vaccines for specific groups of teachers. I qualified as an early childhood educator, and I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in January. My arm was sore for thirty-six hours afterwards, similar to how I feel after getting a normal flu shot. I’ll receive my second dose next week. I hope the vaccine will be available to more teachers in our city soon.

A FULL HEART

Ten years ago, I made a resolution to draw a picture everyday. One simple goal yielded a long-lasting creative spark and transformed virtual connections to real-life friendships. As we near 2021– a fresh beginning– I strive to draw, write, and find a rhythm.

The concept of practicing gratitude has existed in our lives long before today. “What makes you thankful?” is commonly posed in elementary school. As adults, we may practice gratitude through our religions or mindfulness routines. Prayer, mantra, and reflection stretches our minds and hearts. Gratitude journals have grown in popularity in recent years; you can buy blank or prompted versions from retailers like Bookshop. My friend Kelsey keeps a monthly “30 Things I’m Grateful For” post on her blog Snappy Casual and a bullet journal can also organize an ever changing list. To me, practicing gratitude means remembering the things, people, or events that brought joy, peace, or humility. It might be something you do each day or every week or month. It’s definitely something I’d like to do more often.

2020 has been a strange and wild year for our family. Everyday I am thankful for our health and our home. I recognize that having securities like medical insurance and a steady income are a privilege during these times. If you’re in a position to give, support local businesses and social organizations in your community. Be intentionally and randomly kind. What makes your heart full?

D E C E M B E R / / 2 0 2 0

  • Something Reassuring: None of my In-Person students have been ill (knock on wood). They dutifully wear their masks and rarely complain. Their happiness and innocence reminds me why I became a teacher.
  • Something New: I usually wind buffalo plaid ribbon around our tree. This year I strung the ribbon from the top and vertically tucked it in. Thanks Pinterest!
  • Something Helpful: We bought a tree collar from Target so the automated vacuum can go where it pleases.
  • Something Delicious: We had a non-traditional crispy pork roast for Christmas dinner. It cost $12, took eight hours to cook, and fed us for almost a week. I also made a charcuterie wreath (i.e. circular Lunchable) and we ate it two days in a row.
  • Something Good: Zoom reunions with friends and family. I spend a lot of time teaching or attending meetings on Zoom. It was surprisingly pleasant using it for low-key video chats.
  • Something Silly: Our pug has a habit of resisting the dryer when she’s groomed. This month she was more friendly and allowed the staff to dry her properly. Now she smells like shampoo instead of a wet dog.
  • Something on Repeat: “Life Goes On” by BTS and “Champagne Problems” by Taylor Swift.
  • Something Celebratory: This was the 10th Christmas in our home. Happy Holidays!