Friday, August 19, 2011

How time flies!

16 years ago today I married my best friend, I just didn't know it at the time. I'm not sure what demon possessed Kyle to ask me to marry him on that day, but I'm glad he did. Like any couple we have had our ups and downs. We've been through a cross country move from Texas to Tennessee with 2 children under the age of 3 and only the things we could fit into his El Camino and my little Honda. We survived my subsequent culture shock related to moving from the big city to a LITTLE BITTY town. 8 years of him driving a truck over the road and most recently the last 4 years which have included me being a full time student, him getting laid off and finding a different career, 2 teenagers and a 7 year old that makes the older 2 look like child's play.

Through it all we've managed to not kill each other (or the kids for that matter!) and have actually managed to grow as individuals, a couple, and as parents. Growing up neither of us had a template to show us what a marriage should be, so we made up the rules as we went. We knew what we didn't want to happen and built off of that.

All of this is amazing to me as I look back over the last 16 yrs. I couldn't ask for a better partner in my life. We balance each other out. He's quiet, I talk. He's introverted, I know no strangers. He is himself, I am me. Some how, some way we make it work.

So here's to you dear =)  Happy Anniversary, I hope we celebrate many more!
Here are a few pictures of the wedding many years ago :)
The happy couple!

He was 18 & I was 19 in this picture at the reception

My beautiful mom & I 

From this day forward...I love James Avery Jewelry, can you tell?

Isn't he handsome ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It takes all kinds...

This morning while watching the news (or at least what passes for news), Texas Governor Rick Perry has come out swinging in his bid for the Presidential election. Calling into question President Obama's and Fed Chairman Bernanke's patriotism because they never served in the military. While I realize that serving your country is a huge part of the American identity, I think Perry is missing something very important.

Military men don't necessarily make great leaders. Granted they have been trained to be many things, one of which is a leader, but, that doesn't mean that they will be the right leader for the situation.

Leadership is not always a skill set that can be taught. Sometimes it relies on something akin to intuition. It's not black and white. There are shades of context and meaning in everything. A good leader is one that is willing to learn from  situations and people, regardless of rank, that can admit fault graciously without excuses and moves to fix it without whining or BS. These are not leadership skills that have been taught...they are character traits. Aside from this, when you participate in any type of verbal attack on someone, you show your character much more than you show the person's you are attacking.

I don't know who I will vote for in the 2012 election, but I assure you that I will ponder the behavior of all candidates seriously. They say it's not how you treat your peers that is telling of your character, it's how you treat those who have less than that does.

Mrs. Martin

Monday, August 15, 2011

Football and other things

Saturday heralded the beginning of football season in our house with the 1st Titans pre-season game against the Vikings. Harlee did the disgusted eye-roll as soon as I started yelling at the television screen. Having been raised in Texas, where you attended the Church of the NFL with your favorite team as your denomination, it's not surprising that I tend to be somewhat of a fanatic. It also explains the quickness to which I took to supporting the Titans....they are a former Texas team (Houston Oiler's for those of you who are not football fans) after all & they keep me from being homesick for my over the top state.

I enjoy football, though I'm not a fan of watching it live unless I'm high enough to see the entire field. I remember going to games with my mother at WTAMU (now WTA&M) in Canyon, Tx as a child and then later on attending Jr. High football games to support friends. None of my children have the football enjoyment gene and quickly exit the room every time we turn the TV on to watch a game and can only be bribed to come out of their rooms with copious offerings of Queso and 7 layer dip.

Football on a local level is much harder for me to get into, despite having 3 children in the county school system. A large part of that is the fact that both my girls are in marching band. Both activities have their merits, but as long as my girls are marching, my focus locally will be on the band program and what I can do to promote community support for them. Though our marching band numbers are small (50 or so), they are good at what they do and they have a fantastic director who cares not only about the music itself, but also cares for the kids too.
This past Wednesday we took a day off from the real world and spent the day at the lake. We rented a pontoon boat along with my sister in-law and her family, borrowed a jet-ski from a friend and proceeded to have fun. We found a little cove, dropped anchor and spent 7 hours or so swimming, tubing, and playing around on the jet-ski. Tanith, who is now 16, finally had the opportunity to "drive" the jet-ski and did an admiral job of following the rules while still exploring a new skill set. Harlee was disappointed that she's not yet old enough to operate it, but still had fun riding. A.J. on the other hand rode, with Kyle once and was done. Though he really enjoys riding the motorcycle with dad, he wasn't quite comfortable with the water. All in all it was a great day and I really enjoyed getting to spend time with the family before things get insanely busy with my school, the kids school, internship, band competitions, and football games.
I spotted an article yesterday on that validated what myself and other parents have known for years: Cutting recess out of school affects how well kids learn. Imagine that! This is especially evident in the lower grades when children don't have the ability to sit still and focus for long periods of time. I have a difficult time staying focused during a 5 hour lecture even with a lunch break and 2 other breaks. I can just imagine how difficult it would be for a youngster to accomplish anything close!
Speaking of school, the kids are finally in their first full week of school. Which means I have 2 weeks of relative peace and quiet in which to prepare myself for my next to last semester of Nursing school. Time flies when you are least wanting it to.

The line up for this semester is Critical Care and Pediatrics. I will have clinical rotations for them both as well as my internship, which I am going to do my level best to continue with until I graduate in May. I also participate in the MTSU Older Wiser Learners (OWLs) Peer mentor program. This program is in place to help non traditional students like myself navigate the college world and provide peer support. While I never formally had a peer mentor, I had several key people that served as sounding boards for ideas, helped edit papers, answered endless questions, and kept me sane (still do). I feel that it's only fair that I give back to this great program, especially in light of all the adult students returning to the college path.

Well I think I have written my self out at the moment. I hope all of you have a spectacular week!