This weekend was a great for many reasons.
First, it was my little brother's birthday yesterday and he got engaged to a great girl! Yay! I am so happy for Jacob and Danika.
Just look at how cute they are ----> ----> ----> ----> ----> ----> ---->
They met while both serving church missions in Romania. I love how well Danika fits into our crazy family. Even more, I love how she and Jacob are so smitten with each other and are clearly a wonderful match for one another. Yay for another eternal marriage in the Mayans family.
(Sarah, you're next ;) haha, but no rush)
Being Saturday, it was nice just to relax with Andrew. We had a pretty lazy morning and then went to the pool in the afternoon to laze around some more. After the pool, we walked around the Taylorsville Days carnival and people watched. I have decided that carnivals are the BEST for seeing some interesting characters. We didn't go on any rides or play any carnival games; both Andrew and I were content meandering around the booths filled with random crafts and trinkets, listening to the terrible karaoke singers, smelling the wafting odors of fried funnel cakes and BBQ chicken, and watching hordes of people come and go.
We ended the night with some delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse and then decided to go to see Finding Dory. But wait....it gets better. Since we stopped by the house after dinner, I decided to take the movie experience up a notch by going in pajamas... and my awesome husband joined me! We even took a blanket too. (Let's be honest, movies are way better when you are in comfy pjs and have a cuddly blanket). Yes, we might be weirdos but I don't care. All I know is that I'm grateful I married someone wiling to be spontaneous and weird right along side me. :) PS: The movie was cute, but Finding Nemo is better. PS#2: Don't buy ice cream at the movie theater. It is crazy pricey and they are stingy with their portions. Lesson learned.
Yep, I'd say that was a pretty successful weekend.
What a crazy week. It all started when Andrew left for work on Wednesday, but he didn't actually leave. He called me from the driveway to inform me that his Nissan Altima refused to start. Thus started our day of leaning about cars. Here is the story and the not-so-vital information we learned on the way:
We spent most of the morning fiddling with the car. First we cleaned off all the corrosion that had built up on battery. (Lesson #1: 1Tbsp baking soda and 1 cup hot water are the magical recipe for this task of removing corrosion, who knew!?) It seriously looked like a creature had taken up residence on our poor battery, but after we scrubbed it clean, the battery looked like it might be able to function again. Unfortunately, it still didn't help start the car.
Then we called John, Andrew's step-dad, to see it he could help. He was able to jump the car to life, and we thought we were in business. Andrew and I rushed inside for a few minutes to get our wallets and other necessities, and when Andrew entered his car again he automatically pressed the button to turn on the car, thus effectively turning it off and killing our chance of getting to a mechanic on our own. (Lesson #2: Auto-pilot is not a great thing when it turns off your brain. Oops.)
By this time, John was gone so we didn't want to call him back. After trying to jump the car with my Mini Cooper, we learned through internet research Lesson #3: that Minis are not big enough to bring another car's battery to life (this was also after the lessons on how to open the hood of my car and where to find the battery in a Mini Cooper), so we called someone else to the rescue. Helper Number 2 was Andrew's brother, Ben. (Lesson #4: Having helpful family around is AWESOME. I already knew this, but the car experience made me even more grateful for our family) Ben came with his 2 little girls in tow, but his car was also unable to jump the Nissan. After multiple failed attempts, Andrew and Ben pushed the car into our driveway spot.
Then, looking at the battery, we realized that the evil monster of corrosion had actually eaten through one of the metal connectors to the car. We promptly drove to an auto-shop to buy the needed part and see if Andrew could magically fix the problem. When we returned, we realized that the part we had bought was correct but that it wouldn't connect correctly (Lesson #5: Nissan is dumb and makes their own special parts that cannot be bought at a regular auto-shop.) This was a bit frustrating.
Alright, it still wasn't working and by this time it was close to 11am and we had been fiddling unsuccessfully with the car for almost 4 hours. We decided to give it a little break and I drove Andrew to work instead. To sum up the rest of the experience, the next day we got it towed to our mechanic. He worked some miracles and was able to return it to us a day later for only a $56 charge. (Lesson #6: If you have car trouble and you live around Midvale, go to Ron Clifford's shop! He is a great and trustworthy car mechanic.) And now we are seriously considering trying to sell it because of all the problems this car has given us. Sheesh.
I have always had amazing, strong men present in my life. It is a great blessing; one that, unfortunately, is easily overlooked.
So I personally enjoy holidays like Father's Day because they help me slow down and notice the great men I am blessed to know. Today I wish to write about a few key men who have helped shape my life and say "Thank you!" to each of the.
Thank you for supporting me through the ups and downs of my life. Your emotional support (and financial support, too ;) really helped me thrive through college, a mission, the first few years of my career, and the start of my marriage. Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader through my teaching career and helping me remember those who struggle the most in school. Thank you for being an example of the type of man I would one day want to marry. One who honors his priesthood, loves his wife and children, works hard, laughs daily, and a hundred other little details that I love about you. Dad, I love you so much. It's impossible for me to truly express my love and gratitude for you, so you might have to take my word on it. However, I do hope through this letter you might be able to understand what you mean to me. I love you.
To my husband (and future father of our children) (PS: That last parentheses was NOT a pregnancy announcement, so don't freak out.)
Thank you. Thank you for being everything I've ever dreamed of in a husband. You truly are an exemplary man among men.
Thank you for always loving me and being patient with me. I know it can be frustrating when it seems like there is no easy solution to my unexplained tears. Sometimes a cuddle and kiss and knowing that you love me (despite my irrational woman moments) is all I need. You really are a strength to me.
Thank you for your hard work. I admire your dedication in your career. Then you come home and dedicate even more time to study and progress in your college degree. And somehow you squeeze in time to spend a few moments with me and do some chores around the house. It is amazing to me your dedication to our future. Your work brings a good spirit into our home and helps me feel confident in our future together.
Thank you for making me laugh. Every day. Sometimes it takes some work, but before I even know it, you've said or done something to change my mood. "There's that smile that I love," you'll declare, and suddenly I'll realize that you've succeeded in making me smile without thinking about it and I immediately start to feel brighter. You make me happy. Thank you.
Thank you for being worthy to marry me in the temple. I will continue to gush about our wedding day and sealing ceremony because it was honestly perfect. I am so grateful to have married a man who keeps his covenants with God and worthily holds the priesthood. I know that having the Lord in our marriage will bless our lives forever. Thank you for choosing me to be your eternal companion.
You may not be a father (yet), but I know you will be an amazing father one day. I love seeing how you interact with your nieces and nephews; they love you so much and it is because they can easily see how much you care for them. I love you, Andrew. Thank you for being a rock in my life.
To all fathers and influential men:
Fathers are something our society often undervalues; however, our Heavenly Father will always declare through his prophets the importance of a father's roll. It has been explained in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". And it was reiterated again in Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk during the last General Conference. Elder Christofferson said, "Fathers are unique and irreplaceable." Fatherhood is truly a divine roll created by a perfect Heavenly Father. God will not only act as a perfect example, He will also give us each the strength to fulfill our roles and responsibilities as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. What a sweet reassurance to strengthen those hard working, faithful fathers, especially during times of trial and despair. What wonderful promises.
So today and every day, I am grateful for my father, my husband, my brothers, my granddaddy and abuelo, past bishops, home teachers, mission presidents, professors, and all the other men who have helped shape my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you. Happy Father's Day.
I like cats.
There, I said it. I am a cat person. Love me or hate me for it, but it doesn't change the facts.
Andrew really isn't a cat person. I don't think he hates them; I just think he'd prefer to have a dog over a cat. If I am being honest, I too would rather have a dog,. But dogs are big (at least the ones I like). They require so much more attention and care, and honestly I'd feel guilty getting a dog right now in our small apartment with no backyard.
I've playfully asked Andrew if we could get a cat multiple times in our marriage, and it's always been a "no".
So when I saw this facebook post from friend, advertising that her brother and sister-in-law had adorable kittens they were trying to find good homes for, I sent it to Andrew with a "Pleeeeeaaaaassssse?", but I fully expected for him to respond with another "no". Surprisingly, he said, "Let's do it!" and my little kitty-loving heart thudded to life.
Really!? You're ok with getting a cat?!
I spent the day dreaming about the cat: What would we name him/her? Where would we put the kitty supplies? Where would baby kitty sleep (with me, of course!)? Would he/she like to play? or cuddle? Would he/she talk a lot? What kinds of veterinary needs do cats have?
The day-dreaming continued until Andrew started sending me texts with less-than-excited-yet-smart questions: How much would this cost us ( in shots, vet visits, more in rent, supplies/food)? Did the kitty shed? Who in our family is allergic to cats and wouldn't be able to come over to visit anymore? What would we do with the kitty if we went out of town?
And that was the moment my kitty-loving heart knew its day of rejoicing had officially ended, and I crumpled into tears for the rest of the night.
Really, I understand why we shouldn't get a cat. Andrew and I mentally drew up a Pro-Cons list last night:
So you can see, I am well aware of the short list of pros and the extensive list of cons.
But it still doesn't make me any less sad that my day of kitten-dreams has come to an end. So today I mourn that cat we almost got :(
School is out for summer! Woohoo! At the end of a long school year, there are always some good and some bad things that dot my days. Here are just a few bad woes and some inspiring wows to give you an insider's view into my life as a teacher at Sunset Ridge Middle School.
There were a few moments in this last week of school where my heart felt heavy and saddened.
One big woe is that next year I will not be working closely with the same lovely faculty that I have bonded with over the last 3 years. My 8th grade team (Language Arts) and pod (History and Science) have been such a support, and although we will still all be in the school, my move to 9th grade will definitely change things up. I fear that it wont really hit me until we start school again how much I love them and enjoy their company.
Another woe was from a student. This said student has been a pain to work with in the last month of school. He simply refused to do an assignment (one that really wasn't that difficult, I might add), and instead spent lunch detention in my room ever day for the last 3 weeks. Even so, I still care about him and tried to work with him and help him, but he simply refused. Then, in the last week of school, I got a nasty letter from him telling me how much he would have enjoyed this year without me. I can't lie, it made me cry. Plus, I found another note in my books (from some other student in the same class) that said some very hurtful and crude words to me. Put it all together, and you'll find one very disheartened Mrs. Macey. I cried, and even as I cried I had to admit that I still cared about those stupid punks. When I talked to my mom about it later, she observed that those notes exposed more about those students than they did about me. Still, it hurt. Teachers get bullied too in middle school :(
But, let me revel in some wonderful "Wow" moments to brighten the mood.
I always end the year with students writing Thank You notes to teachers/administrators/faculty that they feel have impacted their 8th grade year. I don't ask for them, but every year I do have a few student write to me and thank me. This year there was one in particular who stood out. This student I see as "my little Ismael" (backgound story: My dad, Ismael, struggled in school and he always asks me to take special care of "his" kids: those kids who don't succeed easily and maybe need a little extra support and love). So this student is definitely one of those; he struggled in Language Arts until we moved him to a smaller class, where he thrived. Suddenly, he was more confident and excited to learn again. I don't know what it was that I did, or how I taught, but for some reason I was really able to connect with him. At the end of the year, he came up to thank me...not once, but 4 different times! It was the sweetest thing ever and made my heart burst. He wrote me a letter, and I'll share part of it with you now:
..."You have done so much for me, more than any teacher ever has. I now enjoy Language Arts because of you, I've gotten better at many things and I have completely changed. I am a new person now. Mrs. Macey, please keep doing what you're doing, because you're great at it. I honestly can not thank you enough...."
I mean, WOW! I was so touched by his words, and so grateful for the opportunity to touch his life in such an important and profound way. This is why I teach.
Another wonderful moment came as I wrote my final message to students and parents. I usually write weekly emails to inform parents of what we've learned throughout the week and remind students of upcoming due dates. This last message was different; I was able to reminisce about the life-lessons we had learned throughout the year and send out my final message of love and hope for my students. Writing it, I was overcome with a sense of love for each one of them (even those punk kids afore mentioned in the "Woes" section). You can read the email/blog here if you care to.
I truly do love my job. It comes with high highs and low lows, but it is all worth it in the end.
Andrew and Maichael
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