Friday, March 29, 2013

Five Things Friday: Springing into.. Winter?

1) What a lovely winter we are having this spring.
Is anyone else tired of seeing that all over Facebook and Twitter? I am, but it makes sense to use for this paragraph. Anyway. It's really cold. I LOVE cold weather, and I HATE Mississippi's summers. (And springs, falls, and winters, because we don't really have seasons.) But oh my WORD, it's the end of March and it's currently 30 degrees. I can't get that kind of weather at Christmas, but I can get it during spring when it's supposed to be sunny and breezy? What the WHAT? The only reason I hate it is because really cold weather and no sunshine = no hour-long recess for my 4 year olds. And on the days it's not too cold, it rains. Which means we are stuck inside for days or weeks at a time. Which means they go CRAZY. Which means I go home and rock in a corner for an hour.

Just kidding. I'm being dramatic. And I love them. On Tuesday, I was in our art center coloring with two of the girls. Suddenly, one of them got up and ran across the room while yelling AAAHHHH! and then came back and sat down like nothing happened. So I just kinda shrugged my shoulders and kept coloring. I mean, a kid's gotta do what a kid's gotta do.

Ms. Alexa and her Pandas would really like some sunshine and a nice breeze. Help a teacher out.

(This is how my kids and I feel about never being able to go outside and play. Mostly me.)

2) My beautiful, incredible, sweet, amazing mom turned 30 on Monday.
Even though her oldest child is 23. Having a child at age 7 is just one of her many talents. Last year I explained how I think of my mom as my built-in best friend. Like my brother and sister. Yeah, we all share the same blood and stuff, but they also became my most trustworthy best friends just by being born. Whether they like it or not. But let's bet honest- they love it. :) My mom is what today's world calls an "over-achieving mom." I grew up thinking she was just doing what a mom is supposed to, but I have quickly learned that not all moms are like Rose Cacibauda. She goes above and beyond for anything and everything. School parties, holidays, birthdays, summer plans, etc. There are a lot of articles about these "over-achieving moms" and I laugh every time I read one, because they have Rose Cacibauda written all over them. Not in a bad way. She just was/is a badass mom that has given her kids the world and 5 other planets. And not in the spoiled brat way, just in the really blessed way. I observe other moms with their kids and sometimes I almost feel guilty that I have it so darn good. I just love to brag about her. And now my awesome mom has turned out to be an even better best friend. My dad has always said, "You are JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER" and now it finally makes sense. It's scary and hilarious all at the same time.

3) Quotes from my 4yr olds:
Boy: Ms. Awexa we (meaning he & another girl in the class) got married!! She's my husband.
Me: Wife, baby. You're the husband, she's the wife because she's a girl.
*5 minutes later they're fighting over a toy*
Boy: (after stomping over to me) She said I have to share my stuff! Being married is NOT fun.
*10 minutes later*
Girl: Ms. Awexa boys are SO GROSS.
Me: True, they kinda are. But once you get past that they can be sweet too.
Girl: I think I should graduate preschool before I get married. 

When I was waking them up from naptime:
Me: Hi, sunshine. Get up and go potty, okay?
Girl: (gets up & throws herself to the ground) WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME?! I JUST WANNA SWEEP (sleep) MS. AWEXAAAA.

After telling a girl she needed to sit on her spot on the carpet for circle time:
Girl: MS. AWEXA. YOU. WUIN (ruin). EVWYFING!!! (everything)

Girl: My sister says one day someone is gonna love everything about you and marry you!!
Me: Crazy, huh?
Girl: Yeah. Even your messy hair. I can't believe it either.

I love my job. We made these bunny masks I found on Pinterest and when they all put them on yesterday, I truly thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest. They were hopping around like bunnies all afternoon. I know it's just a temporary college job at a daycare, but I just love them so much. And we all know how much I love to love and how easily I get attached.

Happy Easter from Ms. Alexa's bunnies!!

4) Never let anyone dull your sparkle. 
It's been a ROUGH couple of weeks. You know, just those kind of days where you are suddenly 100% sure that you are going to fail at life and end up living under a tree or something.

I've been doing some confident boosters with my daycare kids lately, because I've started to see them be so mean to each other. One of my kids asked me, "Ms. Alexa, do you let people be mean to you and make you feel sad?"

Well yes, but you weren't supposed to ask me that question. 

People suck. Don't let anyone dull your sparkle!

5) My God loves everyone.
Speaking of not letting anyone dull your sparkle, it's been an exciting week in politics, huh?

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must LOVE ONE ANOTHER. By this EVERYONE WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER." -John 13:34-35.

I put the really important parts in all caps to help ya out.

I know I live in the Deep South. I know everyone has their own opinions. But using God to be hateful is not something I understand. When it comes down to it-- I'm just trying to love God's people the way that He loves me.

HAPPY FRIDAY! Happy Easter! Happy Passover!
God LOVES you, no matter who you are or what you believe. And I love you too. xoxoxoxo.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five Things Friday: March Madness

It's only been a few weeks and I already failed at my Five Things Friday. Oops.

You know those days/weeks where everything is going so wrong that you start hysterically laughing at the ridiculousness, and then you think you're just crying from laughing so hard until you realize you're actually just melting down like a lunatic? No? Just me?

Well, the week before last was certainly one of those weeks. And last week was even worse. 7 midterms (I have 6 classes, but I had 2 in one class), 2 quizzes, 5 essays, and a lab. All in one week. When I finished everything on Thursday night/Friday morning at 1am (after the chem lab site crashed just as I was finishing my lab report and I had to start ALL OVER), I was completely brain dead. I crawled into bed with that feeling in your throat that you're about to cry, but I guess I was so tired that my brain couldn't even figure out how to tell the rest of me to produce tears.

I'm not a stressful person. I just go with the flow. But after I go with the flow for a while, the flow usually turns into a current, and I finally lose it and start flailing like a crazy person. Not literally, but you can picture that if you need a laugh.

It was bad, people. But my mom is all about laughing through life, so I guess that's why I'd rather laugh or be sarcastic about how terrible things are. That way people just think you really have your shit together and are just being funny. Sneaky, sneaky.

However, this week was GREAT! I didn't have any midterms (obviously) and even went to our tacky tourist swap on Tuesday night. I almost forgot what it was like to be a normal college kid that does something other than go to school, go to work, and babysit. SO FUN!

Can you believe it's already March?! Only five and a half more weeks of school until I'm halfway through my undergrad. MAKE IT STOP.

1) Home for a long weekend.
There is truly nothing better than coming home after being away for a while. I only get to go home every few months because I usually babysit every weekend, and I don't get off work until 5:30 on Fridays, so the 4-hour drive isn't worth the less-than-36 hours I'd get to spend at home. I have to stay in Starkville and work during my spring break next week, so I took two days off and drove home on Thursday after my 8am (I don't have class on Fridays) to spend a long weekend at home. I love home. I love spending time with my sister who is a beautiful, fun-loving, grown-up senior instead of the annoying little sister I once had. I love watching Stephen Colbert and eating dessert with my mom while thanking my lucky stars that we are exactly alike. I even love watching TV shows about rhinos with my daddy. Yes. Rhinos. Apparently being away from home even makes you appreciate weird things. I love that dorky guy. I'm so glad to have a few days to just unwind, see some of my fantastic family, and just be 100% of myself without having to worry about anything. I love that I love coming home and seeing my parents. I love it so much that I am still 100% sure that I will love the day they move into the house next to the house my husband and I buy. Alright fine, they can be down the street. As long as it's in walking distance so I can send my kids to their Nonna and Poppa's house when they're annoying me. This is the best idea my mom and I have ever had.

"There is no happiness like that of being loved, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort." --Jane Eyre

2) Netflix has sucked me back in with the best tv show in the history of tv shows.
It's not good, people. NOT GOOD. I have become addicted to a TV show called The West Wing. It ran from 1999-2006, and I think my parents used to watch it occasionally, but I wasn't into politics back then. It's basically about everything going on in the White House and the lives of the staffers during the presidency of a democrat. I know. You're rolling your eyes. But it really is a good show, and apparently it got really good ratings when it was on. Obviously I love it because they talk about all kinds of issues, and since they're democrats they have the same opinions as I do. ;) I have to contain my excitement when education gets brought up while I'm watching it on my phone when I'm on the elliptical at the gym. But besides all of that, it's just a really awesome show that had a lot of thought put into it. I love shows like that. And I absolutely love Aaron Sorkin and all of his work. He did the screenplay for Moneyball which is one of my very favorite baseball movies. Anyway, I'm addicted. At least West Wing is really good motivation for me. During the day I tell myself that if I get all of my stuff done early enough, I will have time to watch an episode before I go to bed. And it makes me force myself to find time to go to the gym, because I know that I can watch one 45-minute episode and still feel productive because I burned almost 500 calories while watching it. It's a win/win. It's really turned into a slight (serious) obsession. Martin Sheen is appearing in my dreams and giving me life advice, people. And I want to be best friends with Allison Janney's character because she's a badass. And Rob Lowe? YUM. I'm in love with his character in the show. Especially when he says anything regarding education. What could possibly be better than a good looking guy in a suit standing up for education? NOTHING. And since we all know I love to love people, I've already become emotionally attached to the characters and I'm only on the 2nd season. I really shouldn't watch TV.

3) Clean eating. 
I've been eating clean since school started back after Christmas break. I felt so yucky after another yummy, but not healthy, Italian Cacibauda Christmas. On top of that, my brother is getting married in the fall and everyone else I know is getting married this summer. I've been needing to get back in shape anyway, and JT's wedding is the perfect motivation, because those family pictures are going to be around forever. Yikes. I realize that I am not obese or even slightly over-weight, but there's always room for some improvement. And by some, I mean a lot. Plus, I really do enjoy eating healthy and going to the gym, which is good, because have you ever known an Italian who has awesome metabolism? No. No you have not. So I'm eating clean. I eat breakfast, carry healthy snacks with me, bring my lunch to work, eat a good protein/vegetable dinner, and count my calories. My daily calorie goal is 1,100. Everyone freaks out and says I'm starving myself, but I have to try really hard to even make it to that. I usually only make it to 1,000. Especially after I burn 400-500 calories at the gym! Oh, and other than coffee, I only drink water, but I've always been like that anyway. Dr. Pepper used to be my favorite, and I had a tiny sip the other day and almost spit it out because it tasted disgustingly sweet. Sad, sad day. I like desserts and stuff, but I don't crave sweets on a daily basis, so I pretty much avoid that too. Of course I am a girl, so once or twice a month when I do feel like I can't possibly go on with life until I eat a cookie, I have one and move on. It's not that I deprive myself of sweets, because I know doing that is bad, I just don't really crave them that much. Unless I'm around my mother. We are so bad for each other. I go to the gym every day except Fridays, because I usually work from 6:30am-5:30pm, and after I get off I hardly even have enough energy to eat dinner before I collapse from exhaustion. Some weeks are better than others. When I know I haven't been getting enough sleep, I sometimes sleep through my 6:30am workout alarm and just go later that night so I can sleep a few extra hours. I don't beat myself up about it. I'm a college student that works nonstop and stretches myself too thin because I have yet to figure out how to say the word NO. I do the best I can. :) My goal is to look so good that my dad tries to reinforce the "no two-piece swim suits until you're married" rule. (JUST KIDDING, Daddy. XOXO.)

4) Starkville got a new priest (!!!!!) and Alexa went back to church.
In my first Five Things Friday, I rambled on about how I was trying to get back into my God groove, and how it's been a little difficult because I despised the priest at the only Catholic church in Starkville. (Is it a sin to despise a priest? Oopsie. He was mean. I'm not sorry.) In my opinion (and in a lot of other people's opinions), he was not a good representation of the awesome, loving God I believe in. So I had been praying like CRAZY for a new priest, because even though I don't believe you have to go to church every Sunday to be a good Christian, I missed that good feeling I used to get after mass at St. Elizabeth. (You will always be my #1, Father Farrell!) Wellll.. Jesus saved the day! That, and the priest's time was up. Coincidence? Good timing? Answered prayer? Either way, we got a new priest and he is badass, people. (Is saying that a sin too? I should find better adjectives.) But really. The first week I went, his homily was SO spot on and I was overwhelmed with peace and love. He always brings everything back to how much God loves us, and it almost makes me want to cry tears of joy. (And I have never understood the concept of crying when you're happy. Never.) He tells us that you can be holy and love God while you are living up the college life. He's also funny, so he gets bonus priest points for having a sense of humor. He is making a huge effort to be involved with college kids and is even trying to learn our names. My point is that I LOVE HIM, and I've never been so excited to actually go to church on Sunday. (Even though I'm still bitter about the new words and keep accidentally saying the old ones. Oops. I'm looking at you, Benedict.) A new priest. A new pope. Good things are happening!!

Side note: heard this song on KLove the other day called More Like Falling In Love by Jason Gray and I fell in love with it. (Oh, the irony.) I just like how it talks about needing the whole God thing to be more like being swept off your feet than just a bunch of rules to follow. We all know I'm not a "you should love God BUT you can't believe in this, this, or this" kind of girl. I want it to feel like a good thing. Good song, Jason Gray. Good song.

5) I found people like me in a sorority. Wait.. what?
Sorority Girl Alexa. Doesn't that just sound weird? Alexa. The independent, Nicholas Sparks-hating girl who thoroughly enjoys watching the news and reading articles about politics for fun. In a sorority. I'm pretty sure no one would believe that I'm in a sorority if I didn't have a bunch of stuff that says Tri Delta on it. I've been having a lot of fun and I love helping St. Jude SO much, but I was still wondering if it was really my thing. I will tell you that there are some things about it that are just not my thing and never will be because I'm just such a weird girl. So I had been going back and forth about whether it was 100% worth it, even though I absolutely love the girls and all of the great things that come with being in a sorority. I wanted people to see that sorority girls can be smart, independent, and involved in other things. I love greek life, but it's not the only thing I do, and I love all people whether they are greek or non-greek. I love all of my sisters, but I just wasn't sure if I would find those few girls that I really click with. And thennnn BAM. It happened out of nowhere. I found my people. And who would have ever thought I would find friends who are like me in a sorority. Of all places. It's always funny when people turn out to be completely different than you expected. And then out of nowhere you are sitting in Strange Brew laughing and saying YES. EXACTLY. WE ARE THE SAME PERSON. It's weird that something like finding a few people who are just like you can make such a big difference, but it really can. It has made this semester so much better for me! So there ya go. You never know where new adventures out of your comfort zone will lead you! I really am thankful for Tri Delta, and I'm even more thankful for these girls who are basically already my favorite people ever. You know who you are. Thanks for making MS a little more tolerable, and thanks for giving me another fantastic reason to love Tri Delta! Watch out, America. A few more chit-chats over coffee and we will be taking over the country. :)

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." -C.S. Lewis

Definitely counting my blessings this week. I am so happy.
Happy Friday! Happy Spring Break! xoxo