Momma Hunt
I know I have been a bit sporadic in posting and I wanted to stop by and wish anyone who still reads this little blog of mine a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am going to leave you with a few things I am especially thankful for this year

-My children who are healthy-I know not everyone has the luxury of saying that
-I am lucky for a husband who puts up with my level of crazy
-I am thankful for a job, although very demanding, that I take great joy in
-I am lucky to have co-workers who are funny, intelligent, and caring and make the bad days always better
-I am so thankful for a house full of people who should be arriving soon.  I have always dreamed of huge thanksgivings filled with family.  Today is truly a dream come true.
-Lastly, I am thankful the Mamavation and CT-Moms who have given me an opportunity to be part of their communities and write for them.  If you told me when I was 16 that I would enjoy writing I would have called you crazy.

So I hope you are all enjoying your day and I will leave with a few pics of my little turkeys

My little Miss J

Master J-Enjoy a last trip to the beach  
Pumpkin picking this fall 

Momma Hunt
As I have stated in previous posts I love, love to get children's books to review.  My children love to be read to and we are always looking for new books.  Recently I was asked by the people over at Candy Cane Press to take a look at two of their new religious themed children's books.  The books Rufus and Ryan go to Church and Rufus and Ryan say their prayers were two super cute books to bring up the topic of religion to children.  Master D is now in CCD and loves to go to church, but sometimes the concepts of church and prayer are hard to cover with kids so young.  Even harder is Miss J, who now also likes to go to church with us on Sundays.  What I liked about these books and why they are super fun is it is a typical little boy with his stuffed monkey Rufus.  In both books Ryan and Rufus navigate both how to say their prayers and what to do in church.  Not only do the two learn what and how to behave and church it shares what to love about a mass.  I also need to point out that it is fairly generic and as a Catholic there are only a few slight differences in terminology then what we use to describe certain things.  I also liked how the prayer book gives great examples and shows the child that there is no wrong way to pray.  The book portrays pray in a way I like for a child….as a simple conversation with God.  For anyone who is trying to introduce either prayer or going to church with a wee one these books would be a great addition.  Also, as we head into the holiday season we are firm believers in our house that other than Santa's presents and a few gifts from us we do books for the holidays  These would be a nice gift for under the Christmas tree.  Fun for the kids but with a deeper meaning to help celebrate the holiday season.  Stop by Amazon and check these two cute books out today!  I will leave you with a picture of Papa Hunt and Miss J enjoying the book



The funny part of this photo is my husband is in no way religious at all…so he asked Miss J to pick out a book and what did she pick-The religion book for Daddy to read.  






Momma Hunt
So as many of you know I had been training to run a 5k.  I have participated in two previous official events but in one I walked the entire thing and the second one I had to walk parts of the race.  I was determined that I would run an entire one.  I had my sites set on one particular race.  I had signed up a few years ago for a race at Mystic Aquarium to benefit the penguins but had to cancel because my best friends son was being baptized that day.  I figured when I signed up in August that I would have enough time to train and get ready.  Well I wasn't exactly ready but I really ramped up my training so that although slow I could run the entire thing.  My college good friend Rebecca also volunteered to meet me there.  The best part of this race….free admission to the aquarium post race.  Ok that isn't the best part…..these guys were the best part!!

While waiting for the race to begin they brought the penguins out to meet the races and no lie this is the closest I have ever been to one it was amazing.  In fact as I was starting the race they had moved the penguins to the starting line so they would wish us all well on our 5k.  

I was a bit surprised once we started our run to find out this was not just a regular 5k it was a trail run…which I had not been expecting to say the least!  My time was about three minutes slower then I was anticipating but I wasn't counting on trails and huge hills either!  Rebecca was a sweetheart and ran wicked slow with me and talked to me the whole time-I had informed her ahead of time that I wouldn't be contributing much to the conversation since well….I would barely be breathing.  


As we approached the finish line I was really overwhelmed by emotion….I did I had run (with the exception of having to stop on the trail to go down to single file lines and about 20seconds of walking at the very top of the big hill) I ran the whole thing.  Best part at the finish line were my husband and my kids cheering me on.  My son did say he was wondering where I was because I was almost last (way to kill my running high kid).  I was just so proud of myself.


There have been a lot of times on this journey to healthy where I have set goals and I have failed to meet them.  Most of these goals are based on loosing weight and I never seem to meet them and not meeting goals makes me feel disappointed in myself but also that feeling of why should I even try mentality.  This was a big moment for me.   At a weight I would prefer not to discuss I ran 3.1 miles.  I moved my big ass through the woods, a field, and up a huge hill all while running.  

This race occurred just over a month ago and I took me a while to be able to right about it and get the words right.  I still don't even think I have correctly summed up what setting this goal and achieving it has meant to me.   It make me realize that I am capable of a lot if I am really willing to work for something.   

So I have set another goal for myself.  By this race next year I want my time to be under 40 minutes.  New goal-something other than weight to focus on for an entire year.  Now to set up my game plan.  

I will leave you with my favorite picture from the race…..the reason I ran in the first place-Me and my kids.  Showing them that sometimes it isn't what place you finish….its that you tried your best and you finished!  






Momma Hunt
So it has taken me awhile to post...well because this was hard to talk about.  I cried at work this week...not ugly cry....but the I am so pissed off and really want to drop a bunch of F-bombs so crying seemed like the only option (clearly that is way more professional than swearing).  So a wee background about this incident.  In our school, like all in CT, are going through a huge transition in our evaluation system.  We are moving in the direction that many of those in power feel is the right way to go.  That way is basically to have teachers prove they are doing their job.  In theory this sounds reasonable-make sure teachers are doing a good job so you can get rid of the bad ones.  No objections here.  The problem comes in how you decide I am doing my job...teaching is not like any other job.  You can't really assess it because it is more art than science....I don't make widgets I teacher 120 uniquely different students.  So anywho....the way that we are assessed is tremendously complicated that even after several day long meetings the formula that is used to decided if I get to keep my job or not is scary complex.  At that heart of it is proving that I have taught my students skill (not subject matter) from the start of the year to the end.  This involves a tremendous amount of testing, record keeping, data sorting, and no like like 12 forms.  All of which take hours-again literally hours- to fill out.

So just as I am finally getting my head above water....we had all of these forms, parent conferences, as well as grades closing on the same week THE FORM hit.  Now granted this form is not as complex as the others but months prior our principal promised (I even wrote the date down because I was shocked he said we wouldn't have to) that we would not have to keep forms on our daily meetings.  Well guess what...at a meeting on Monday we were told we have to fill out a form daily (yes every day) on what we do in this meeting.  For a business person this would be equivalent of filling out a full page form every time you had a meeting with a co-worker on a project and answering five questions about what you did.  It is making us justify every minute spent as though I have the time to dick around and waste precious time.  I swear I want to write on the form "I filled out the 100 other friggin forms you gave me today" and write that every day for a month.  SERIOUSLY.  So everyone is starting to panic at our meeting about another form and I raise my hand and start to say "Can this wait, can it be modified....this is too much" and I well up.  It was embarrassing but it was how I felt.  It was true raw emotion the kind that is so strong you just can't hide it.

Well needless to say....the aftermath of that moment was interesting.  Many colleagues came up to me and expressed not only concern that I was upset, but more than that many of them said "THANK YOU".  You said and showed exactly how I felt.  Another colleague said he was watching me and it made him so sad because he could see me break.  It was that moment where you can't take anymore and you just fall apart.  Another friend gave me this...she said I earned it.  I joked and asked if I was part of the club "Bitches who cried at work club" she said yeah sort of.

The other aftermath...the one that stings a bit is two of the "head" people at that meeting although they are superiors I am close with an neither of them has asked me how I was doing or even made reference to what happened.  I don't know if perhaps it is embarrassing for them as it is for me.  I know that this was not their form....they are just following the party line as we call it.  Yet, to not follow up with me stings. Then again perhaps no follow up is better than the "that wasn't appropriate" follow up.

For me the aftermath has been hard....I am a girl who loves her job.  I have loved almost every day of my 11 years at my school.  That form, that moment made me realize the job as I knew it is over.  My husband a future school administrator said to me today "You need to realize this is how it is going to be and if your ass can't take the heat get out of the fire."  That hurt.....but it made me realize the reality of this situation.  I love what I do.....I believe in what I do......I love and believe more than I hate all those fucking forms.  I know I am a good teacher, I know what I do matters, and I know in my heart I can cry all I want those forms aren't going away.  So as pissed and angry and sad as I am.....I choose what I love more.  I love my students and they are worth the stress, the aggravation, and the 9,999 shitty forms I have to fill out to continue to do what I love.

So from now on I am going to try my best to always choose love over frustration, anger, and stress.  It doesn't mean it will happen but if I try and always remember what I love...maybe it will make my back a little stronger so it doesn't break so easily.