Life Updates-What’s been going on in my Personal Life

by becky on January 1, 2018

Hello again, and Happy New Year!

I thought it was only fitting that since I’ve explained what I’ve been doing professionally for the past few years, that you might be interested in what’s been going on personally in my life.

Warning–it’s not that exciting! 😉

Meeting New People: The past few years have been priceless in the friend department. As a self-proclaimed introvert, putting myself in so many new and uncomfortable situations has really forced me to make new friends and find a new support system. I think people underestimate how hard it can be to do this not only as a child but also as an adult. Luckily, in EVERY building I worked in, I met some of the most amazing human beings that have not only been there for me as a co-worker and fellow educator, but each and every one of them has been there for me through some of my hardest personal struggles. As I said in my last post, if nothing else, my journey was meant for me to meet these people because they were an important part of my story then and in the future. Below is just a few of these special goofs that have forever earned a permanent place in my heart!

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Taking Care of Me: Two years ago, a couple of weeks before the school year ended,  I was driving to work and I  saw a sign that said, “Kickboxing, why not?” And I totally thought to myself, “Seriously Becky, why not?” I text my good friend Lisa ( bottom right of top 4 pictures) and asked her if she had any interest in trying kickboxing this summer. Thinking she’d tell me I was crazy, I began to forget the idea. But, no joke, rapid speed, she replied and said, “Yes! Totally! I’ll call places today.” I secretly started regretting asking. I’m more a zumba or dance-related exerciser-not being aggressive and punching a bag. But, I ignored my doubts and went to my first class. Let’s say it was a 100% humiliating experience. No joke. I don’t like to look weak or like I can’t hang, but let’s be honest, I was out of shape and this class was intense. I won’t go into details, but after walking out to spend some time outside in the parking lot, I left and declared I’d NEVER go back to kickboxing. Never.

Then, Lisa kept assuring me that the trainers felt so bad that I had gotten sick-yes, I threw up my first class. AHHH. But it wasn’t their fault. I decided (after a LOT of convincing from Lisa that I will be OK, it’s not a big deal, and it just proved how hard I was working… blah blah blah) that I’d try ONE more class and then make a decision. Let’s just say the second class I did it at my own speed and I still worked incredibly hard, but I didn’t get sick and I actually enjoyed it. The soreness the next day was  a whole different story. 😉 Fast forward to two years later and I still love it (even though I’ve been lame the past few weeks) and it is now a part of me. And occasionally, said trainers like to remind me and the other people my class just how exciting my first class was. Sigh/Ugh. But, I can’t imagine a  better whole body workout than the insanity our trainers put us through. I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy burpees (lol) but darn it, I can do a WHOLE lot more now than I could 2 years ago. What doesn’t scare you doesn’t change you.

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My Family has grown: I think one of the hardest things for me to understand in my life is why I don’t have a family of my own. I’m just being honest. I have always thought I’d have at least 3 kids and be that crazy mom who makes my kids take insane pictures (cira 1990’s Anne Geddes) but alas, it’s not been my reality… yet. However, one of the happiest days of my life was when I became an Aunt. My sister and her husband had their first child on September 7th, 2016 and the sweetest boy I’ve ever met-Ethan Tyler came into my life officially making me an Aunt (and later Godmother).

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Babies just make everything better and Ethan is no exception. He’s my sweet love bug and my only wish is my sister lived closer so I could spend a lot more time watching him terrorize his parents- ;-). He turned a  year old this past September and I was tasked with making most of his Monster-themed decorations. Which of course I LOVED doing. He had a great day and I will never forget his blue frosting face from his 1st smash cake. He definitely loves his sweets. Which is why naughty Auntie Becky sneaks him spoonfuls of whipped cream-oops. #sorrynotsorry

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The inspiration of “spots” in Dots-n-Spots- When I first started my blog and my TpT store in 2011, I wanted a name that represented me. I didn’t want to put any specific grade levels in my name because even then, I didn’t think I’d be in 4th grade forever. So, I combined two of my absolute favorite things-polka dots and dalmatian spots. My whole classroom was black and white polka dots and my sweet fur baby was a dalmatian named Lillie. It was a great name and to this day, I still love it and feels it represents me and my style.

If you followed my blog for any length of time prior to my two year hiatus, you will know that even though I don’t have actual children I love animals and I basically considered Lillie my “dog”hter. I know I’m a crazy dog lady but I am just of the opinion that dogs are family and you treat them like any other living breathing family member. When I moved into my first house and Lillie and I left our family home we had a great few years. Then, she broke her ankle in a bunny hole, and through routine blood tests, non-routine biopsies, and a lot of digging, we discovered she had a liver disease. I can’t believe I can’t remember the name of the disease but it’s equivalent to cirrhosis of the liver in humans (insert annoying neighbor jokes that made me want to punch them in the throat—no douches I did NOT give her alcohol. Sorry, it got annoying because I never found a deadly disease a reason to make a lame joke.) Anyway, for about 4 years we had it “stable” and she was able to live a pretty normal life. If you consider 15 pills a day normal. Sigh. Cutting to the chase, because I still have trouble thinking/talking about this, on January 5th, 2016, I took Lillie to our beloved veterinarian and had her euthanized. It was the saddest, hardest, but most relieving moment of my life. I’d never had to put a pet to sleep before and I didn’t know what to expect and I’ll never forget that at the very very end when I knew her breaths were numbered, she looked directly into my eyes and put her paw in my hand. I told her I was there, I loved her so much, and that I WILL see her again. And here go my waterworks. But even though that moment will forever be in my memory, I also can’t explain the relief that came almost immediatly after she was “gone.” It had NOTHING to do with being “rid” of her. I think I had been living for 4 year with constant worry, stress, fear of blood test results, and watching seeing her lose herself to the illness. I was relieved she was out of pain and fear. She could rest in peace and wait for me on the rainbow bridge.

Here is picture of one of our last “good” days…

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The next few months were rough. I came home to an empty house. I didn’t have ANY responsibilities besides myself. And yes, there was some enjoyment in that, but all I wanted was my Jo Jo back. I don’t judge others on how they grieve because everyone needs different things. One day, I got an email from a friend of mine and she told me about when she lost her cat, Lola, a few years ago. Like Lillie, Lola was more than just a cat. She grounded her during a time when she needed it and because of that she told me she planned to get her name tattooed on her left foot because the left foot is the same side as her heart. She invited me to join her and it was the weirdest thing–I felt like it was right. I really never gave tattoos much thought as they just don’t seem like “my thing”, but the idea of always having Lillie with me, just made things seem ok. Let me repeat, this is NOT typical Becky behavior, but I’d been doing a lot of non-Becky things over the past few years.

Cut to a few months later, and my sweet friends Maggie and Shilpa (bottom left-top 4 pictures) bravely came with me while I got my sweet girl’s name on my foot. Let me say this-it hurt. Like HURT HURT. Like, I wanted it over half way during it. But, I got through it and I loved it immediately. I think about her everyday regardless, but any time I look at my left foot, I just smile to myself.

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The new man in my life– and sadly not a human man 😉 So, remember how I said I started going to kickboxing? Remember I said Lillie took a ton of pills? Well, one day I got the nerve to ask a girl named Nikki at the gym who I had heard talking about all the animal rescues she works for and I asked her if any of her rescues took medicine donations. The thought of throwing out perfectly good medicine that cost A LOT of money, when there could be some dogs who could use it made me sick. Luckily, she was more than happy to take it off my hands. Well, you know the saying everything happens for a reason? Well, I think this is a perfect example of that expression. Over the next few weeks Nikki and I talked some more and we became Facebook friends. She was always posting pictures of lost dogs or dogs that needed to be adopted. I just scrolled through the pictures because nothing in me even wanted to consider getting another dog. One day she posted a picture of a fawn colored pit bull that looked like he was crying. I stopped and looked at his picture and the first thing I thought was, “That’s my dog.” But I threw my phone across the floor and tried to ignore what I had just thought. Suddenly, every time I went on FB all I saw was this dog’s-Brady’s- picture. Nikki was pleading with anyone to be a temporary foster. His days were numbered at the shelter and he needed a temporary pit stop until a rescue could find him a long-term foster house. I ignored ignored ignored it. Then, I made the mistake at the gym asking her if she’d found a foster for him and she got super sad and said no one will take him. He had two days and he’d be put down. I took a deep breath and said, “I will do it ONLY if NO ONE else steps up.” Then, I prayed and prayed someone would. But, like clockwork, two days later she said, if I could just take  him for two weeks she’d find someone else to bring him to. I said, “Two weeks. Only two weeks.”

The next day after his neutering surgery, Nikki dropped him off…

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He didn’t feel good because of his surgery and he’d been so stressed at animal control. I could tell he just wanted to relax and enjoy the calm of not being around other dogs. I learned quickly he was incredibly well-mannered in the house. He didn’t dirty, steal things, scratch, or jump up. He did however like to be as close as possible to me. The closer the better.

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His eyes looked awful. He had huge circles of dried tears around his eyes and it just looked painful. After talking to the rescue who had pulled him, I took him to a local vet and she diagnosed him with entropion. Basically, both his bottom lash lines were rolled inward and his lashes were constantly rubbing against his eyes. Imagine having like 30 eyelashes stuck in your eyes 24/7. ouch! The rescue asked me to take him to a specialist and the said that if we didn’t do surgery immediately he’d risk losing his eyesight. All I could think was, “why do I  always find the dogs who have issues?” Well, I handed over a very reluctant dog to this doctor and it about broke my heart.

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So, the recovery was 2 weeks. I told the shelter I’d hold onto him until his cone was off and his eye drop schedule was finished. It didn’t take long but you could tell he was feeling better and his handsome green eyes were open and soaking everything in. He had become very attached to me and my whole family (who immediately fell in love with him), and I kept putting off his “next foster”. I should have known I wouldn’t give him up. About 2 months after he came to me, I text the rescue and said I wanted to start the adoption process. I sincerely didn’t think I’d ever have another dog after Lillie but I also truly believe no one else stepped up to take him because he was always meant to be mine. He’s my big baby and he loves every minute of it.

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Here’s his official “before” and “after” picture… This is why you should never judge a book by it’s cover. Look at my handsome guy.

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If you’re still reading to this point, THANK YOU for taking some time to get to know me better. My plan is to start posting classroom related content once school gets back. But, it’s also nice to get to know the teacher behind the blog.

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I strongly feel great things are coming in 2018 and I hope to bring you all along for the ride.

Til next time!

Becky

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dannie January 2, 2018 at 3:59 am

You have a heart of gold, my dear friend & mentor! I loved reading this update and look forward to following your posts. You are a true inspiration in so many ways. Here’s to your best year yet!!

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becky January 3, 2018 at 3:50 am

Oh my sweet friend! You have no idea how many lessons, books, or activities that remind me of when we worked together. TRULY those 2 years were two of my BEST years. Thank you for always supporting me and cheering me on. You are one in a million!

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