Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful

The McKenna family has a lot to be thankful for this year. In the past, Thanksgiving wasn't really a highly celebrated holiday in our house. We didn't have the money or time to travel home, so we usually just stopped into Boston Market and picked up dinner (which is actually pretty good). This year...completely different. It's amazing to be a part of both of our amazing families. I'm thankful that Logan has been able to get to know both sets of his grandparents this year. He is constantly asking for them and gets so excited to see them, I love it. I'm thankful that Andy and I both have jobs doing what we love. This is a miracle in many ways, especially for my profession. I'm thankful that our little family has found a new town to call home. I'm thankful to be reunited with friends from my past that I have missed so dearly and can now see on a more regular basis, as well as staying in touch with those that I miss in the desert. I'm thankful for all the support Andy has given me this year. Did you know that moving is really stressful? And trying to find a job? I'm thankful for all the memories we've been able to make with our families in the short time we've been back in the mitten. I may complain about being busy all the time, but I secretly love getting together with both sides and catching up on all the activities we've missed out on. I'm thankful for an adorable son that amazes me every day. We can't help laughing when we see little bits of ourselves jump out from him. I'm thankful that this Thanksgiving, we weren't just driving to Boston Market and picking up our dinner, but spending time with the family we have missed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Andy and I have officially decided that we LOVE this phase of Logan's life. It's perfect. No longer does he scream for things that he wants, he actually has mini conversations with us. Love it! Everyday, I pick him up, he screams "Mommy!", and then immediately says, "Daddy, now". Adorable. He tells us when he wants to go outside, when he wants a snack, when he wants more of something and what it might be (also I might add, he signs "more" and "please". Genius). He actually helps pick his toys up, and he loves learning new things. I caught him walking backwards today because he saw me doing it. Best of all, he enjoys going to bed at night. He tells us "lu loo, ni ni Mama" and lays sweetly in bed. Ahh, I want him to be this age forever. Can we just push the pause button?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Exhaustion has set in

It's official. I am a teacher. I mean, yes, I landed myself a job with my stunning teaching skills and have actually starting planting information into the heads of little second graders, but the exhaustion did not set in...until this week. You're not actually a teacher until this happens. I had been going through my days as a happy go lucky Rachel. Spending my nights grading a few papers, watching all my new TV shows from the fall season. Having a jolly good time. But, slowly but surely, the needing of naps started, the up late writing lesson plans, bringing home piles and piles of work to grade. All that jazz. Sigh.

So, with that tremendous amount of complaining out of the way, I can't happily say that it is 9:38 pm and I am finished with all of my lesson plans for next week, I've typed up spelling words, and all papers are corrected. Yet...I'm trying to find something else to do that relates to school. Addiction? I think so.

Also, my birthday is tomorrow. I'm way old. Way close to 30. Need way more presents because of this.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

This weekend was perfect. I really can't think of anything I would change. On Friday, we met my in-laws in Kalamazoo to do the trade off for Logan's first sleepover weekend at their house. Andy and I realized we would need to be quick about this, in case they realized 10 minutes away that they made a mistake. Apparently he was good, so they decided to keep their plans with him :) While he was there, he went to see his Nana's horse, went to a birthday party, and was simply spoiled by his grandparents. This is why we moved back to Michigan.

Andy and I, however, did what any other married adults would do when their children are away....slept in. Get your mind out of the gutters people, I know what you were thinking. Sleeping is my favorite hobby. I love to sleep in until double digits, meaning at least 10 am, and I did. Two times this weekend. Pure bliss. We also had a huge date day on Saturday.

After getting dressed at oh, about 1 pm, we headed out to lunch at a place where Logan would never eat because they don't have a kids menu. Then, off to AJ's family fun center, where we played Putt-putt. Pretty nerdy, but Logan's not old enough to do this yet, so we took advantage of our time. I lost (even after I cheated), and then gave up on air hockey because I was sick of losing against Andy. Basically I'm a sore loser. We then headed over to the movie theater and took in a flick. Afterwards, another restaurant for dinner. Ahh, the joy of not having a bedtime that we had to stick to.

Today, we headed up (over?) to Kalamazoo to do another swap and take the babe back. I'll admit, I kind of missed him. Since we were already in Kalamzoo, we decided to head over to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, because it's free. They've added a way cool kids room and Logan LOVED it. We then left the museum and took a stroll on WMU's campus. Andy and I had fun talking about all of the places we had classes, the memories we had together, and then pretty much gawked at all the changes they've made since we were gone. The most notable change was the lack of Andy's old apartment building. Apparently there was a fire 2 years ago and his building is gone. Vanished. I think he was pretty stunned. Logan had a ball walking around campus, trying to climb the stairs, and of course taking in the sights of what will be his future college. Not that I'm pushing him into anything...

So, once again, perfect. Days like this remind me of why I love living in Michigan. I love being able to take a short drive to where Andy and I met and have so many memories together. I love being able to share stories about the times we visiting certain places together. Perfect.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Oh my, I had forgotten how completely draining school training is. The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur, but in a good way. Being in a school that is K-12 is very different than K-8. Some of the trainings didn't make much sense to me, but then I realized what they were talking about was directed to the high school and not the elementary. I almost feel as if I'm starting my first year of teaching all over again, not knowing as much about the curriculum and the general list of things I am expected to complete. I've come to the realization that a lot of my lesson plans won't be used again, mostly because they were on the smart board and I don't have one in my room (which is surprisingly kind of nice). However, I've also come to the realization that I will have about half the number of students that I'm used to having. I'm not sure what it will feel like to work with 18 students everyday instead of the usual 25+ that I had in AZ. Right now it's hard to contain the excitement!

I have to admit that the best part of these two weeks is being able to meet other teachers that I can call friends. I've felt pretty lonely in GR, and I know that Andy feels the same way since he doesn't have any colleagues to talk to during his work day. It's been so nice meeting people, seeing what we have in common, and just enjoying other adults (yes, I know that I've been around Andy all summer and I love him, but sometimes I just need to talk to a different adult). My second favorite thing: getting back into the classroom and unpacking all my junk. Yes, I know, I'm strange, but I do like to organize and unpack for the upcoming year. Packing it back up at the end of the year is another story.

So, my room is completely organized ::for now::, my lessons are done for the week, and my copies are ready to be handed out. Watch out GR, Mrs. McKenna is back!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Finally!

After two and a half months of looking online EVERYDAY, applying to jobs (even those I didn't want) like crazy, and getting lucky enough to go to a few interviews...I was offered a position! I am once again a 2nd grade teacher. Andy and I basically watched the phone all day Thursday, being told I would hear back from the school I interviewed at, but there was no call. Then, early Friday morning it came and lots of screaming/jumping/phone call ensued. My mom was actually visiting and Andy was out of town, so it was nice to be able to celebrate with someone. I literally feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

So, the next week will be filled with daycare hunting for Logan, and hopefully some decorating in my classroom. I have one week left of vacation, and then I am a working girl. I'm just glad that I can now uncross my fingers...and toes.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bored

Apparently when you are on a budget and you don't have lesson plans to make, you become bored. I'm simply not used to having so much time on the weekends and I've found myself slipping into boredom. It probably doesn't help that our plans were squashed this weekend because of the rain. I'm so used to not having enough time to get to things I like, that now, the thought of doing those things kind of bores me. I know, I don't make sense.

I've spent the entire weekend renting movies from redbox, searching for instant videos on Netflix, and watching tivo'd shows that I've recorded. Beverly Hills 90210 has been my favorite so far. I had an inkling of a thought to finish up some of my scrapbooks, but that seemed to take more energy than I was willing to give. Another thought came to clean the bathrooms. That didn't happen. So, I finally gave into my boredom and worked out. Yeah, I know, craziness. Hopefully this slump goes away soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Love

It's so easy to remember the planning of our wedding. Hunting online to find the best deals to fit our VERY small budget. Sitting in the living room with our crappy printer and so carefully printing up each and every invitation on vellum, making sure I didn't touch it so as not to smear. Going dress shopping and finding the perfect dress and hoping that you would love it just as much as I did. And of course choosing the vows that expressed exactly how we felt about one another.

Four years ago today I married the most wonderful man I have ever met. He's the perfect mixture of nerdy and charming and he's my best friend. I am so lucky to have met someone that would literally change his life to be with me. He has moved across the country with me (twice), held my hand during MS struggles, helped me make a handsome little man, and finished off each night telling me "I love you". I feel very lucky to be living the life that I have and even more lucky that I get to share it with my husband. Happy Anniversary Andy!



Monday, July 25, 2011

Warning!

Before you start reading, I will come right out and say that this is not going to be a happy go lucky post. I'm in a blah mood, therefore you will be getting a blah post. But I promise I'll try to throw in a new and improved picture of Logan at the end.

I, Rachel McKenna, am going to finally admit that I miss Arizona. Bits of it, not the whole thing. I miss my friends, A LOT. And I do miss our really small and cramped house, minus the scorpions that stung me. Also, it would be nice to jump into a pool that is just down the road from me, even if it did feel like bath water. Most of all, I miss my school. Today all of my AZ teacher friends are getting up extra early to go into work and greet one another, share what they did over summer break, and gear up for another school year. One that starts next week, which is crazy to me. I love how the beginning of the school year is another fresh start with a new set of students that I get to know and love. It's just such a strange feeling to go into Target and to not look for sales on wide ruled notebooks, folders, crayons, glue, etc. I really think this no teaching thing is getting me into a depressive state. My kid can only do so many funny things during the day, I need new material that I can share with Andy from my classroom.

So, now that I have admitted the ugly truth about missing AZ, here is the promised picture of Logan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thank Goodness!

We finally have a little bit of good news...the sale of our house is closing tomorrow! It's been such a pain to have to wait for this, and then to leave Arizona without the sale being complete. Our credit with take a bit of a blow with the short sale, but we'll build it back up by the time we want to buy again. It's a nice weight lifted off our shoulders.

Job hunt 2011 still continues. I've found a few jobs out there, but have now resorted to filling out applications for paraprofessional positions. As long as I'm working with students in a school, I know I'll be happy. Hopefully being a parapro would open up the doors to actual teaching positions in the future if I don't get one this summer. It really is depressing though. I feel like I'm taking a huge step backwards in my career. I've worked so hard to build up my resume, but it didn't seem to work. ::sigh:: I am currently working on staying positive. Kind of difficult, I'm not gonna lie.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bad news...

I didn't get the job. Blah. Onto more applications.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Today my tummy was doing belly flops

Today was a pretty important day. By important, I mean the day that really could decide whether I have a job or am a stay at home mom. So, pretty much deciding my future here people (and no, I'm not being dramatic). I had to teach a lesson to a lovely group of 1st graders, and hope to goodness that I didn't mess up. I think it went ok. I went over on time a bit, but that's normal for me. It's pretty difficult to teach a lesson in 30 minutes. Give me 45 and I'm good to go, but 30 is a bit rushed. Just my opinion. I'm crossing my fingers...and my toes.

It's strange seeing what the date is and realizing that if I were still in AZ, I would be getting ready to start putting my classroom together. School doesn't start until September here! I am missing my AZ buds a lot lately, hopefully I'll meet some gals that are just as awesome as my AZ peeps.

In other news, Logan is officially 17 months. That's pretty darn close to 1 and a half. Which is very close to 2. He's pretty hilarious. He took it upon himself to throw my shoes in the bathroom sink today. Where he got this idea, I do not know. However, I believe he has a shoe fetish since he is always walking around wearing our shoes and loves to pick out his own shoes for the day. He's talking more than ever. I swear he learns a new word everyday. The only problem is that when he learns a new word, he uses it constantly. For everything. Eh, he's pretty special.

Hopefully my next post will have good news!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fingers crossed

I had an interview. Pretty exciting stuff since I expected that I would never get called in for an interview and would be a stay at home mom forever, thus never having enough money to buy clothes again. However, I was received the blessed phone call and rushed my butt to a school for an interview. I then decided I bombed it and was not going to get the job. Until I received another phone call. I now onto phase two of the interview process in which I must teach a lesson to a small group of 1st/2nd grade children. I'm scared shit-less. I've taught lessons before, but I just keep thinking about how this could be the one an only interview I have in Michigan and I could lose out on the job. The job that will bring me money so that I can buy clothes. Can you tell I love shopping for clothes? So, my fingers are crossed, I'm going to try to write the best damn writing lesson I have ever written in my lifetime, and I'm going to hope and pray that I blast away the competition.

On a side note, we LOVE being back in the mitten. Grand Rapids is awesome. Logan has already seen both sets of grandparents multiple times. There's a ton of stuff to do, and I've been able to get back in touch with a lot of old friends. I never realized how much I missed living here until we moved back. It has also reminded me of how much I really did not like Arizona. I actually have a slight sunburn from being at the park the other day. In AZ, going to the park in the summer is not happening unless you'd like to burn your tush on the hot plastic slide. Life is good.

Friday, June 10, 2011

We made it!

After many hours of packing, driving, and watching DVD's in the car, we finally made it to our new home...Grand Rapids, Michigan! We're loving the house, despite some of the minor flaws it has. We know it's not our forever home, but it's going to be perfect for the next few years that we live in it until we build or buy. Logan is loving all the space he has in the basement. He has an entire play room instead of the small area of that he had to play in the living room. This allows me to have a clean living room and him to go as crazy as he wants in his own space. The huge plus to the house is the amount of storage that is has. I have so much cupboard space that I can't fill it all in the kitchen. All of my school stuff fits in our storage room, with plenty of space left over. And, on top of all of that, we're pretty close to our families and have been able to spend time with both of them already.

Andy started his first week as a "working out of the home" dad. He has an office in the basement and closes the door when he's working so that Logan doesn't bother him. I started my first week as a stay at home mom. Right now I'm technically still getting paid to be on summer vacation from my old job, but the stress of not having a job for next year is really starting to get to me. I scan the district websites everyday to look for available jobs. I know that if I had to be a stay at home mom full time we could do it, but we wouldn't be able to save much for a new house and I know that I'd get bored of it. Being a SAHM just isn't for me and I know myself well enough to say that. I have so much money anxiety already and the school year hasn't even started. My fingers and toes are crossed that one of the applications I've turned in calls back. Until then, I'll try to enjoy my time with my very independent, very cute little man.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This SUCKS!

Moving sucks. I hate it and I think I'm in a permanent bad mood because of it. I hate not knowing exactly where we're living. I hate not having our house packed up yet. I hate that I haven't had any phone calls for a job. Hate. Hate. Hate. I'm usually really excited to end the school year because by this time, no matter how much I love my students, they're pretty much getting on my nerves. However, as the days count down I am reminded that I'm also counting down moving day. Don't get me wrong, I'm way excited to leave AZ. I'm a Michigan girl and heart and love me some snow. But I'm starting to get hives thinking about all the boxes we haven't yet packed. Blah. Someone cheer me up!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm back!

I think I became very used to having a student teacher and completely forgot how much work I normally have after school. Since she's gone, I'm back to teaching full time, which means I'm exhausted and blogging takes a backseat to how tired I am. So, we'll do a quick update...

The short sale on the house is still not finished. They need to rename the thing to freaking long sale. We'll most likely leave Arizona without finishing the sale, but we thought that would happen when we started this whole thing.

Andy has interviews this coming week in Michigan. I'm crossing my fingers for the job in Lansing so I can be close to my family, although I wish we could be close to his too. We found a house we are in LOVE with and want to rent, we're just hoping it's still available when he goes next Wednesday to look at it. Oh, and we need him to get a job offer too. That's pretty important.

Oh, yeah, and I still have no offers. Blah.

We are officially packing up and saying adios to Arizona on May 29th. Just in case you didn't know, that's 5 weeks away. And we have three boxes packed (and they're only diaper boxes). Bring on the stress.

I have stitches in my foot from the removal of a gross nasty growth, aka a cyst, that found a home on the top of my foot. Since living in AZ I am ashamed of how my sandal/flat wearing has had an effect on my delicate tootsies, and I refused to have a cyst to top it off. So it's gone, hence the stitches.

Last but not least...Logan has to have tubes in his ears. We were thinking this was going to happen with all of the ear infections he has had, and we're actually relieved. We were getting tired of the fevers and I'm sure Logan was tired of being miserable. The surgery is set for May 2nd and then his ears will be fixed. I'm anxious to see if this will improve his speech.

I think that's all of the on going drama in the McKenna household. Let's hope I can get a few minutes this week to post any new news.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scary stuff going on around here

We are moving. To Michigan. Most everyone I know already knows this fact and are very happy for us. We're happy for us. But I'm am scared shitless. Please don't tell Logan that I just swore.

I officially turned in my resignation before spring break. Such a short signature with huge implications. I always said that I would not quit a job without having another already lined up. Except there isn't a new job and there may not be a new job. My fingers are crossed. And my toes. Should I cross my eyes too? Over the break I turned in 32 applications across the West Michigan area. Even though it seems like a lot, my expectations aren't high when I know that others in the area have been looking for a job for over a year. My backup plan? Stay at home and bow down to his majesty Logan. If only I could be paid to do his bidding.

So, the house is almost sold, just waiting on our dear old friends The Bank, the applications are sent in, and we have a plan of leaving in June. Let's hope it works out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's finished!

As I may have mentioned before, I am a procrastinator. No need to stay anonymous, I will easily and proudly admit to it. In fact, some of my best work has happened when I procrastinated and finished projects at the last minute. May I just mention my 3.79 GPA in college? Pure procrastination. 4.0 for my masters? Procrastination at it's best.

Anyway, I am here to finally say that Logan's scrapbook is finished! That is, the scrapbook documenting my pregnancy up to his birth. In a perfect world it would have been finished right after he was born. In Rachel's world, the one where I am a teacher, a mom, and a super wife, it's finished when he's 13 months old. But it's done. That's all that matters. And it's pretty amazing if I do say so myself. If you'd like to see it, you must come and visit.

In other news...L man is walking, getting into trouble, and throwing fits. I thought we were supposed to have terrible two's, not terrible ones, or is this the new thing? Eh, he's still adorable.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shredding

Yes, I too have joined on the Jillian Michaels bandwagon and have started shredding. I started the 30 day shred last Friday and it kicked my butt. To the point that I almost couldn't walk up the stairs. It stayed that way all weekend. Today I finally motivated myself to do day 2 of the 30 day shred and it wasn't as bad at my first day. Don't get me wrong, I will be sore tomorrow, but it'll be worth it. I'm thinking that my 30 day shred may take a few more days that Jillian expects, but really, she's just in my TV, so she'll never know.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Just what you've been waiting for!

I know, I know, you've all been waiting patiently for the new and improved pictures of Logan. He is pretty handsome, so I can totally understand. So, here they are, the 1 year pictures of the L man.




There are so many more that I'd like to share, but then you'd get tired of scrolling and I don't want that.

One week after this we cut the curls. It was just getting too mulletty (is that a word?). He now looks like a little man.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Come one, come all...

To Logan's Birthday Party!

I know it's been a week since we celebrated, but we finally got off our lazy butts and posted his birthday party pictures. Logan's party was circus themed and I think we did a pretty good job. A couple of ideas got cut last minute because I simply ran out of time, but overall, I was happy with the end result. We found an AMAZING lady who makes cakes. If any of you are in the Phoenix area and need a cake, find Jennycakes on facebook. Awesome, and very reasonable prices. I asked for a simple smash cake that was circus themed and she created a masterpiece that I loved, and Logan did too!
I stuck to a pretty simple menu. Since most of the guests were either adults or babies under the age of 1, we thought we'd cater to the tastebuds of the adults. We had some apples with apple dip (so delish), rice crispie treats, fruit kabobs, cotton candy, and jimmy johns subs. I also threw in some animal crackers to snack on. What's a circus without some animals? The kids took home clown noses, bubbles, a bag of cotton candy, and a circus themed rubber ducky. I also made cupcakes for the first time ever. You can clap now.
Logan had tons of fun with his friends. We played pin the nose on the clown and blew bubbles using his bubble gun. I was VERY happy that our friends bought him clothes for the summer and books instead of toys. I know, I'm mean, but the boy has so many toys already. We ended with some eating of cake, which I think was Logan's favorite part.


It was sad to celebrate without our family, but we know that he'll be able to celebrate with them next year and for all of his other birthdays too. I still can't believe that we now have a toddler in the house, but everyday he does more and more. On to planning next year's party!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wordless Thursday?

Pretend this is for Wednesday:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Logan!

It's been one year. One year ago today our world turned completely upside down when this chubby cheeked little boy came into our lives. It's been a year full of crying (from both parents and baby), diapers, laughing, and best of all kisses. No longer do I get to sleep in until double digits on the weekend, but I sure do love cuddling on the couch and watching Rugrats with my own little rugrat. Happy Birthday to my little man, you're one year old!

*Please note, I promise a better 12 month picture of him tomorrow :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

10, 9, 8, ...

The birthday countdown has started. It is officially less than a week until my little boy is 1. A toddler. Oh. My. Gosh. I was just rocking him tonight when I realized that this would have been the week that I found out we were going to have an early delivery. Probably the most stressful day of my life thanks to my oh so lovely principal at the time. I was not happy to be delivering early, she was not happy. Andy was scared shitless.

I'm getting so excited to celebrate Logan's big day with everyone. The party favors have been collected, the cake ordered, the presents bought, and most of the decorations made. I will admit to a couple of snafus with the birthday shirt I made him, but it all worked out. Kind of . We just need some guests and an adorably cute birthday boy. Check.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Oh no...

Our worst fears have happened...Logan is now throwing food down to the dog. Lucy waits so patiently under his high chair for a bit of a snack, and he loves her so much that he gave her one tonight. Yummy green beans! Perhaps not Lucy's top pick for snack foods, but she'll take anything. He's such a sneaky little guy. He continuously threw food down on the floor for Lucy, but when Andy looked up to check if he was eating, he instantly began chewing and started laughing. I think we're going to have our hands full. Oh boy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

too much for a title

Oh goodness, I'm a lazy blogger. I'm going to post a quick update just to wet your tastebuds. Here goes...

Christmas came, Christmas went. Logan received WAY too many presents, which forced us to buy a new toy box and disassemble the bouncer in order to make room in our house. He loved meeting family in Michigan and Indiana. He hated snow. As seen here:

video

We were sad to leave, but happy that we'll be back for good in a few short months :) Here are some of our favorite Christmas pictures:


Logan has also passed the 11 month mark of his life. That means less than one month until he's the big 1. Then he'll be a toddler. Not a baby, not an infant, a toddler. I know Andy's ready for this, but I don't know if I am. It's crazy to see all of the things he can do now. Here are some stats just for kicks:

  • Weighs 21 lbs. (a bit on the skinny side from what I hear)
  • Last we checked he's 28 inches tall
  • Just switched to size 4 diapers
  • Wearing mostly 12 month clothes
  • Crawling EVERYWHERE and getting into EVERYTHING (why did we want him to be mobile?)
  • Walking along the edges of things and standing by himself for a few seconds
  • Talks a lot of gibberish, but still hanging onto mama, dada, baba, nana. I swear I've heard a "ya" when I ask questions
  • Eat mostly table food. We actually ordered off the kids menu at a restaurant the other night!
  • 4 teeth
Basically, he's the coolest kid ever. I love being around him and find that I get even less done for work because I don't want to take any Logan time out of my schedule. So, without further adieu, here's the L man: