Sunday, December 30, 2012

Perspective

The older I get the more I appreciate the New Year.  My view has changed, mostly in the last three years, from seeing the New Year as a fantastic drinking opportunity to seeing it as a time to reflect and renew.  There is something refreshing about knowing that I have another year of opportunity before me.  Another year to get it right, try something new, do something different.



Pinterest Find

I asked my husband last night, "What are you most proud of accomplishing over the past year?"  I was trying to be all lovey-dovey and reflective and cute, but men don't really feed in to that sort of thing, do they? He grunted a reply while I sat, half-listening, thinking about what my own answer would be.  What would you say?

A few weeks ago, God laid the word perspective on my heart.  This word has been ever present in my daily life since then.  This year most of us have dealt with unimaginable sadness at some point, hopefully unimaginable joy at another.  Some of us are eager to see this year go, and others are anticipating the joys that a new year will bring.  As a country, we have bickered over elections and banned together over heartache.  I have welcomed a new class of children, and yearned for children of my own.  I have cried and laughed and cried again.  And I hope to cry and laugh and cry again next year.  We are only human.  We can never hope for perfect.  We can hope for perspective. 


Opening Christmas presents



I am writing this sitting in a small cabin in Ellijay, Georgia.  There is ice on the ground and a fire in the fireplace.  I am surrounded by people I love; my mom, my dad, my brother, his girlfriend, Dallas, and my loving husband. There is a hot tub waiting to warm me next to a flowing river with trout for the hubs. This is a great way to welcome a year of new.

Happy New Year from The Clowers

So, while I may still wake up with a hangover on Tuesday morning, I'll be doing it with a whole new perspective.


Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust Him, and He will help you.  Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.  -Psalm 37: 5,7


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thinking about Thanking

Does anyone else stalk Facebook like I do? 

If so, you've probably seen the multitude of posts about being thankful. But, if you also are a blog stalker, like me, you've probably also seen this post from Enjoying the Small Things.  She rocks. 

So, it got me thanking thinking could I find the best in the mundane?  Could I find gratefulness past the devoted parents, wonderful siblings, loving husband spill? Not hard, right? Shelter, clothes, food. Done. 

Deeper. That's what she said. 

I'm thankful for:


Sunrise. I've been blessed with another day to try again.
My pillow. It has just the right angle for late night tv watching.
 Starbucks. Enough said. 
 My students. Their innocence is an escape. 
 Knowledge. I hope I never stop learning.
Lazy days. 
 Friends.  Life would be far less entertaining without them.
Straight teeth. I wanted braces, but now I know better.
Freshly washed sheets.
Sadness. Without it, happiness would be far less joyful.
The Bible.  Nothing brings me more comfort than God's word.
Music. 'Cause I'm a talented singer. Duh.
Eyebrow pencils. My real eyebrows are literally non-existent.
A strong back. I know what it feels like not to have one.
Conversations with my husband. He gets me.
Silence with my husband. He gets me.
Holding my niece. 
 Crisp mornings.
Weekends. I love to sleep in. 
Books and movies. So I can be lost for a minute. 
A brand new, felt tip, fine point, Sharpie. Nothing writes better.


My list isn't perfect. My list isn't complete, and I pray that it will never be complete.  I hope that even when Thanksgiving has come and gone, I am still finding small reasons to be thankful. 

Oh, one more reason, I'm thankful. 

My sweet babydog. Heck, I'm even grateful for the pile of laundry she was able to snuggle in.



Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Dollar Makes Me Holla...

Or, ten dollars, to be exact. Which is how much a paid for this darling dress that was perfect for Sarah and Daniel's nuptials.


Even though the sky threatened rain, God's mercies are great, and we didn't feel a drop. The humid, Georgia air left my hair in shambles, but the bride was beautiful and radiant.

A bottle glass of wine later, I found myself on the dance floor. I say "found" because I would never have "put" myself on the dance floor. I'm not a dancer, and my wobble doesn't lie, but I had a blast with hubs and our friends.


Here's to a lifetime of happiness for Sarah and Daniel! I promise to bring back the wobble at your 50th Anniversary.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Girl's Got the Ring...

Time for her Final Fling! 

Last weekend a bunch of us girls drove up to Helen, Georgia for Sarah's Bachelorette Party. When I say we drove up, I mean we literally drove UP a mountain.  There were definitely some tire-sliding moments and maybe (I'm not saying for sure, but my passengers were pretty convincing) some back-end-of-the-car-hanging-off-a-cliff moments, but we made it.  The view was spectacular! 


This is the view from our deck. Could you imagine waking up to this each morning?
On Saturday morning we took our time getting read and headed to town for some lunch and shopping.  It was the first weekend of Oktoberfest, so the crowd was decent, but can you believe that not a single pizza place served beer?  We finally opted for something quick. 


Me and Katie at lunch.  They had delicious slurpee drinks.  Nothing like Wet Willies, but they sufficed. 
 If you need an outfit for Halloween, look no further! You can become your very own, Jack-in-the-Box. I was slightly amused by this and also intrigued.  There is no way I could keep a straight face for that long! 



video

 We all realized how old we were on this trip because, after an afternoon of eating, shopping, and being entertained, we needed a nap before dinner and drinks.  The saddest part...we all immediately changed into our stretch pants when we got back to the cabin before laying down for naptime. 

After some snoozing, we managed to get ourselves dolled up for Sarah's night out. I opened my own jewelry shop in the cabin and decided that I could be a personal stylist in another life. 


The bride before heading out!

Me and Sharmilla 


There is actually a funny story behind this picture. Apparently, not everyone knows how to make the kissy face.

If you ever wondered where that random guy that drove you home that one time is living...he's in Helen, GA.


The bride, myself, and Tiffany.

Anjanette is a real trooper.  She is pregnant, and still managed to make it longer than me!

Wrapping up our night. 

Me and Laura.
One lost "wobble" and we were out the door.  

The boys spent their bachelor weekend at Gulf Shores, AL.  Besides some posed pictures on a boat, there is not photographic evidence of that trip. Hmmm.....









Tuesday, September 11, 2012

If You Really Knew Me...


As I was doing my daily stalking reading of some of my favorite blogs. I fell upon this little gem over at MamaLaughlin.  I decided I'd roll with it because I love to talk about myself. Really. 

If you really knew me...
...you'd know I love to be in control. All the time. 
...you'd know my favorite breakfast is a Starbuck's Frappucino and a slice of CLASSIC coffee cake. 
...you'd know that I could eat a whole box of macaroni and cheese by myself. 
...you'd know that when I sing in the car I pretend to have an audience in front of me. 
...you'd know I'm a sucker for the underdog.
....you'd know that I have to check my alarm seven times before I can go to sleep.
...you'd know that I am afraid of death. 
....you'd know that my mind comes up with worse case scenarios and I can convince myself to believe they are actually happening...or will happen...then I call Katie to confirm I am NOT crazy.
...you'd know that I actually am crazy. 
...you'd know that peanut butter M&M's are my favorite.
...you'd know that I've always wanted to a be teacher. Always.
...you'd know that my husband has had my heart since high school.  
....you'd know how badly I want to be a mommy.  
...you'd also know that I'm convinced I will be the best damn mother in the world.
...you'd know that my heart belongs to the Lord. 
...you'd know that praise and worship is my favorite thing of all time.
...you'd know that I can't listen to STAR 94 when they are doing their Children's Wish-A-Thon.
....you'd know I'm convinced Miranda Lambert would definitely want to be my BFF.
....you'd know that money gives my anxiety.
...you'd know that I'm a major daddy's girl. 
...you'd know that I heart cheerleading and I hope to be a cheer mom one day. 
...you'd know that clutter drives me insane.
...you'd know that my house is always cleaner than my car. 
...you'd know that I talk to my mom once twice three times a day.
...you'd know that I often say inappropriate things at inappropriate times. Then I have anxiety about it.
....you'd know that I'm obsessed with reality tv, and my husband is obsessed with golf.
....you'd know that the golf thing could be a whole post in and of itself. 


Friday, September 7, 2012

Beautiful

There could never be a more beautiful you


Don't buy the lies, disguises, and the hoops they make you jump through


You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do


So there could never be a more beautiful you.


Jonny Diaz - More Beautiful You














Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jesus Loves Me. This I Know.

I've been waiting to write this post because, well honestly, I didn't know if I'd have the strength.  However, there are about a million things on my list that I'd like to blog about right now, and if I don't get it done, I'll forget. I'm not getting any younger, ya know. 

I'm literally sitting here right now willing the words to flow from my fingertips. Not because I don't have a lot to say, but because I don't know that it can be expressed through words. You see, my life has changed. Call me a Jesus Freak. Call me a Bible Thumper. Call me Sinner. All of it would be true. The Lord has taken over my life, y'all, and I'm climbing a mountain  sitting at my computer to shout it to the world!
Our sweet friends, Mandy and Penny.

My mom and me

I was born and raised a Methodist girl. I went to Sunday School, Children's Church, Youth Group. I know the Bible. I can recite verses. I can tell you the ten commandments about as fast as I can break them. But you just don't know Jesus until you KNOW Jesus.  

He crept up on me in the huge auditorium filled with 9,000 other women, and He slapped me in the face hugged me fiercely. He has not let go. I'm on quest. A Bible quest. I want to read more, know more, speak more, show more, love more, let go more. Y'all, He has made me want to let go! My little OCD personality just doesn't know what to do with itself. And I feel sorry for it.

9,000 women there to praise the Lord!

My mom asked me the other day if I had changed something about myself, and I told her that "it was just the glow of the Lord in me."  

I hope His arms continue to hug me. This girl may be ready to let go of a lot, but she is not ready to let go of Him. 

Mrs. Beth Moore herself! We got to have our picture taken with her! She is so blessed  with a gift to share the Lord's word.


Psalms 40:1-3
I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things He did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in Him.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's All Gonna be Alright

I had a whole different post for today, but I've decided to put it the side for a while. Y'all, I just need to vent. I've found that this blog has become such a theraputic tool for me. I forgot how much I love to write, and how much it helps me to clear my head.

Do you ever feel like you're going to just explode under the pressure? That's how I feel today. I feel like if I get one more email or have to add one more to-do to my list, I'm going to snap. And, trust me, you better hope you're not around when that happens.

My house is mess.  I can't vaccum or mop because of my back, and it's taking all I have not to do it. Our grass needs to be cut. The laundry needs to be put away. The dog needs to be washed. I need to figure out plans for returning to work next week.  I need to stop.

I need to breathe.
I need to count to ten.
I need to know that it's going to be okay.

My sweet husband has really been wonderful during all this.  He has vaccumed more than once. He's cleaned bathtubs and toilets. He's folded and put away laundry. He's cooked dinner and shared left-overs only meant for one.  Still, I have found myself snapping at him. He's not perfect, but neither am I.

I've had a lot of time to be with the Lord lately, and I'm glad.  I have found myself talking to him throughout the day. Silently, aloud, singing, whining, crying, yelling.  I don't hold back because He knows the desires of my heart, anyway.

So, I should not be surprised that He knows what I need and when I need it. 

I'm going to Charleston this weekend to hear Beth Moore. I'm so excited for the trip because (other than the fact that I haven't been out the house in three weeks) of the fellowship and girl time that it will bring. I'm going with my mom, and our friends, Penny and Mandy.  I pray that the Lord's message this weekend will speak directly to me heart. I already know it will.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Are You There God? It's Me, Heather.

Have you ever felt like the Lord is really trying to talk to you? I mean, REALLY, trying to talk to you. Like, if I were to turn the corner and a bible fell on my head, I wouldn't be surprised.

If you know me at all, then you know I'm pretty OCD about things. I want my house cleaned my way. I want my classroom set up my way. I want the bed made my way. I want the refrigerator organized my way. Are you seeing a trend here?

The G.O.D., he laughs at our plans.  Not to mock us, but to show us that His plan is so much better than ours. It's true. There have been many times that He has changed my plan only to show me that His was way cooler in the first place.  If my plan had played out, I'm pretty sure I'd be a divorced mother of three with no college degree. (My mother is nodding in agreement to this statement)  Fortunately, He knows better, and the heartarche and struggle has been worth it. (God is nodding in agreement to this statement)

Recently, I have felt that this surgery was all part of His greater plan, too. Not a plan for me to suffer, but a plan for me to learn to let go and slow down.  These past three weeks have not been easy. My husband and I have argued. My pain has been both bearable and unbearable.  My plans have been put on hold to make room for His plans. Luckily, my God is a gracious God.  His word eases my pain.

Philipians 4:4-6 
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

James 1:5
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask your God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."

1 Peter 1:6-7
"Because you know this you have great joy. You may have joy even though you may have had to suffer for a while. You may have had to suffer sadness in all kinds of trouble. Your troubles have come in order to prove that your faith is real. It is worth more than gold. Your faith is meant to bring praise, honor, and glory to God. That will happen when Jesus Christ returns."

He never promised His plan to be easy, but His plan is right for me. My husband and I have grown closer through the disagreements. I have learned to lean on him and Him. I cannot do it all, but His scripture is full of His promises for me. And who knows me better than the one who knew me before I was formed in the womb? (Jeremiah 1:5) 

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer


It's official. School started today, and I was not there. (Sad face) According to the surgeon, I am not allowed back until the 27th of August. Two more weeks. I think even the dog is ready for me to return.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

You Have a Tattoo?

The day I turned eighteen, I got my belly button pierced. I was skinny and cute, and who doesn't want a piece of metal shoved in their belly button?  Well, obviously, my body. Within a few months my body had rejected the piercing, and I was slowly forming a granuloma underneath the bedazzled jewel that hung from belly button. So, out with the piercing and in with the scarred belly button.

Since I was young and wild, and assumed my parents didn't know anything, I waited until I turned twenty-one and went for the tattoo.  First, we stopped at Ruby Tuesdays and I bought a strawberry daquiri (because when you first turn twenty-one you MUST get an alcoholic beverage at every restaurant. period.) and drank it like a champ.  Then, I dragged myself to the tattoo parlor, ironically named Good, Clean, Fun. Ha! Now, how I made it through getting the tattoo, I will never know. I'm quite possibly the biggest scaredy-cat there is, and somehow I managed to sit in a chair and let someone use a needle to apply ink to my lower back for two hours. P.S. Wedding Crashers had not been made at this point. Save your lame bulls-eye jokes.


Long story short. Your mom will always know best. Face it. It took me twenty-eight years and a back surgery to know this.


That, my friends, is a cut straight through my beautiful tattoo. Now, when I'm old, I will not only have a wilted flower, but a scarred, wilted flower. My mother is still laughing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good Day. I Said Good Day!

I'm about to head out for the hospital. I've got bags packed, some new pajamas, and my Mom and Dad. Hubby will be meeting us later when he gets off work. I wanted him to take tomorrow off instead of today, so he could listen to me whine and baby me all day. Today will mostly be surgery and sleeping. 


My brother posted this picture this morning, and it made me LOL. Literally. 




Thanks for the laugh, Bran. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The "What If" Game

I'm scared. The inevitable is approaching, and my stomach is in knots. I'm having back surgery on Thursday. There. I said it. It must be true. 


It's all been a whirlwind really.  I've been dealing with back pain from a ruptured disc for over a year now. Debilitating, not-sure-I-was-going-to-be-able-to-walk-down-the-aisle type of pain.  I've had three epidurals. One lasted a good six months, the other two about two weeks.  The last straw has been the recent numbness in my legs. Searing, painful numbness that makes it really hard to sleep. So, finally, I've been given the surgery route, and I'm scared. 


Silly, really.  I'm talking the worst case scenarios that are perpetuated by the fact that it's 3:00 am, and I'm still lying awake thinking up even worse scenarios.  What if I wake up during surgery? What if I never wake after surgery? What if the pain is so bad but I'm too doped up to be able to tell anyone?  What if they hit a nerve and I never walk again?  


My students try to play the "What If" game with me about ten times a day. I never give in. So why am I giving in now? 

Sidenote: It goes without saying that my 30-Day Challenge is on hold right now. Jillian Michaels, when I can walk again, I'm coming for you!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stories

I love to read. I can devour books in hours, and I feel lost when they are over. 


I have affairs with new books. Books that  are crisp and untouched and unloved. I hold them and read them and love them until their pages are worn; folded over and wrinkled and read and reread. 


I adore children's books.  The simplicity, the color, the way there is a children's book for every subject and holiday and special moment. I love to read them aloud to my students, and I wait for their eyes to light up and the laugh to come. In fact, it steals a special place in my heart when I catch someone laughing to themselves as they read because I know that feeling, too. 


I cherish old books.  Books with a history. Books that someone else has already loved and marked and folded. I try to imagine what it must have been like for them the first moment they picked up the book and pressed down the spine with their hand. 




This book smells like my granny. I can remember scanning through her shelf of books and finding this one day. I was eleven, maybe twelve.  It was a scandalous book, and I was huddled up on her couch and giggling at the words that I wasn't allowed to say. I don't remember ever finishing the book, but the story it holds for me is priceless. 






Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Perfect

I need purpose.  So, I read other people's blogs and look for some similarity between my life and theirs. I don't like to read perfect blogs. People who have spotless houses and perfect bodies and perfect lives. I love me some real people. People who fight with their husbands, have children who aren't perfect, spend some days in pajamas, and let the laundry basket overflow. Those are my kind of people.




I am certainly not perfect. I am, however, semi-perfect. Like semi-sweet chocolate; a little bitter and a little sweet and the perfect combination.


I don't always wear make-up. And sometimes my husband finds me in the same clothes that he left me in that morning.


I love my husband who loves me despite everything. He even gets up early on Saturdays and lets me stay in bed while he fixes me amazing food that doesn't fit in with my diet.

I love my friends fiercely. I would do anything for them. For that matter, I love their children more.


I love my mama. Who lets me come over when my husband is playing golf and I can't stand to spend another day watching TLC and attempting Pinterest crafts alone. So, we craft them together.




No, my life is not perfect. But it's perfectly alright.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Muscle Vs. Fat



I was happy to know that nastiness above is now off my body! Down five pounds this morning. Woot! As I continue my 30 Day Takeover, I will continue to remind my self of this picture and the one below. 


Muscle weighs more than fat. Only now it's legit for me to say that because I'm actually gaining muscle. The term, "I'm just big boned," is fading from my vocabulary. What the hell does that mean anyway? 




Friday, June 29, 2012

30 Day Do It. AKA: One Month to Fit Into All My Work Clothes Before School Starts

I went to a seminar recently that included some Ted Talk Videos. Have you seen this?  You can basically get a Ted Talk on anything at anytime.  The internet is limitless!


One of the videos really struck home.  Matt Cutts - 30 Day Do It  I think he sums it up best by saying, the next thirty days are going to pass whether we want them to or not. Basically, I can waste my next thirty days away with some TLC reruns, or I can change something.  Since I've spent the last three days in my PJs with no shower, I guess I'll decide to take Matt up on the 30 Day Do It Challenge.


My Challenge: Make Jillian Michaels My Bitch. I'm going to own the 30 Day Shred like no one else.


Basically, I'm going to spend the next thirty days working my butt off. Literally.  If you love Pinterest (if you don't then stop reading this) then you have seen some before and after pictures circulating. I refuse to photograph my before pictures, but I'll be sure and show you my after in thirty days. 

Since I'm facing back surgery, Dr. Uncle Brent has informed me that it will be better for my husband recovery if I'm skinny healthy. In other words, the next thirty days are all about my health fitting into the ridiculous amount of clothes in my closet that no longer zip. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Let's Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow...

Tomorrow I will be twenty-eight years old. Today, I finally went and had my license changed to my married name. (Don't lecture me. I know it's been over a year.)  As I turned in my license (just in case I planned to give it to an eighteen year old who could use it to buy alcohol) the DDS lady commented, "Wow, your hair has grown so much since this picture."  I replied, "Well, that picture was taken ten years ago."  Just a comment, and yet at that moment it hit me like a ton of bricks. Ten years from now, I may be saying the same thing only I will be turning thirty-eight! Geez, I'll be old like my parents. I'll have kids of my own. I'll have been teaching for sixteen years and married for eleven. Whoa. Crazy stuff.  So, before I leap into the next ten years of my life, play along while I become nostalgic about the last ten.


May 2002 - I graduated high school. End of an era. Beginning of another.










December 2007 - I graduated college. For those of you doing the math, yes, it did take me longer than four years. No, I am not a doctor.



January 2007 - My first teaching job. I have a career.


May 2010 - Engaged. I win.


April 2011 - Best. Day. Of. My. Life.


October 2012 - Susan G. Komen 3-Day. My legs have never hurt so much. My heart has never been so full.


January 2012 - Teacher of the Year. See, that extra year in college DID pay off. 













May 2012 - My niece. I had to add her because she's awesome, and now I'm Aunt Weezie. Double Woot! 


So, even though it seems like just yesterday that Hubby and I were making out in a deserted parking lot and sipping warm tequila, I really have accomplished a lot in my past ten years. Cheers to me.