Thursday, March 26, 2015


I've been hearing the verb, "To Make," quite a lot recently.

"The class didn't 'make' [because not enough students signed up for it]."  


"Go to the gym to have your picture 'made' [for the yearbook]."

Is this a Southern thing?  I've never heard it used like this before.  

So what do you think?  Do you say that you want to have your picture "made" or "taken?"  Do you think your dinner party didn't "make" because no one showed up?

One of my friends told me that sometimes we, who are not from here, like to blame everything on being "Southern" when in fact it is just not something we, individually, are aware of.  In other words, it probably isn't "Southern," it just isn't something familiar to us, therefore it must be "Southern."  Such as having separate dish and hand towels, or using the verb "to make" in the weirdest ways.

This is just one of many... interesting... quirks I've noticed about Alabama.  I'll be back to write more, later.  Right now I have to go make brownies for my class tomorrow.


Picture via

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Side Effects

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile, but never got around it.  Then recently our community was hit with some tragic deaths.  I have several students with anxiety disorders and/or autism, and know countless people who have been treated for depression.  So I just wanted to write a quick, but heartfelt post about my recent experiences.

I've never had a history with anxiety or depression.  Sure, I've gone through life experiences that have left me momentarily sad or "blue."  But I've never been diagnosed with or treated for depression or anxiety disorders.  I've had my share of anxious moments, even had a few panic attacks while living in Brazil, but that's about it.

Then, randomly, last Fall, I started having unexpected, uncontrollable, crazy anxiety and paranoia.  The paranoia was very intense.  I started having completely irrational thoughts, worries, and paranoid ideas about the most bizarre things.  For example, I started thinking that the entire world's electricity was going to suddenly go away forever and we'd be stranded in Alabama with no way to contact our families and no way to get to them.  I started thinking "what-ifs" and making extensive plans for what to do if all electricity went away forever.  I didn't want to drive anywhere, so that we could "save our gas" in case something like that happened.  I didn't want to go anywhere alone, in case I happened to be alone when an apocalyptic event were to happen.  I started to worry that we'd run out of food or a way to prepare food.  I began to imagine life as it would have to transition back to "the olden days," when people worked farms for food.  I began to worry about my allergies and asthma, and what would happen if someone needed surgery.  I was a little obsessed with this paranoia and it was all I could think about.  (The electricity situation was the mildest of the paranoias I was experiencing.  I also had thoughts about disease epidemics, apocalyptic events, and random other things.)

I knew it sounded crazy.  I knew it wasn't plausible or possible.  And I knew it was all in my mind.  So I didn't tell anyone.  The anxiety and fears got to be so bad, that I felt physically ill.  And still I didn't tell anyone.  I told Peter that I didn't want to go to Barnes and Noble because I didn't feel well.  I came home from school and laid in bed until dinner time.

In the meantime, I knew that this was crazy and that I was being irrational.  So I prayed.  I read my Bible.  I bought books on overcoming fear and anxiety.  And that helped a little.

Then, one day, I went to take my medicine.  I was taking an allergy pill and an asthma pill to help control my crazy allergies.  I happened to read the label for the asthma pill.  "Side effects may include: anxiety, paranoia, suicide."

I stopped dead in my tracks.

WHAT THE?!?!?!

I hadn't gotten to the suicidal thoughts yet, but I didn't want to risk heading anywhere near there.   So I immediately stopped taking all my medicines.

And within a few days, I was completely back to normal.

No more anxiety, no more paranoia, no more crazy and irrational thoughts.

I went to a follow up with the doctor and I told him my story, and he immediately knew it was that specific medicine and told me to stop taking it (which, of course, I already had).  He said that a reaction like that is very rare, only 2-3 cases in the last 10 years.

But I have to wonder... How many people experience side effects from medicine and never report it?  How many people have anxiety and paranoia and suicidal thoughts and don't realize that it's their every-day medicine that's causing it?  I know that I never would have expected my asthma medicine to be the cause of those thoughts.  I've had asthma my entire life and have never had side effects to any medicine I've had to take.

So I've made it my mission to tell everyone I can.  Please check your labels.  Please be aware of your moods and mental health.  And if anything, anything, seems off to you, please tell your doctor and check every possible side effect.

I know that anxiety and depression are real issues that people deal with every day.  I know that suicide can be a result of many, many different issues.  BUT what if some people, like me, are being affected by medicine that they never would have expected?

Thanks for reading.  Sorry for such a random post, but I really felt like I needed to share my story.  I hope you are all having a wonderful week.  I'll be back later with some more uplifting posts.


Friday, March 13, 2015

5 weeks...

5 weeks... without internet at my house.

An excellent time to connect with my husband, get housework done, read books, relax, chill, and unplug?



Annoying, boring, and horrible is more like it.
Used up my phone's high speed connected within a few days.
Couldn't get work done, couldn't research for my class, couldn't watch Netflix or Hulu...

"First world problems" all around!

This weekend, give your router a hug and say, "Thanks."

Now that I have mine back, I am never letting it go again.

I actually have some blog posts planned, now that my internet is back!  See you soon, friends!

Photo via

Monday, March 2, 2015

February Goals - How did I do?

Read my overly-ambitious February Goals here.

1. Nope.
2. Kinda.
3. Nope.
4. Ha!  Nope.

Well February was a tough month and I'm so glad it's over.  But it was also a really fun month and I'm a little sad to see it go.  Here's what happened in February:

- We moved to a new house.  With that came complications with setting up our washer and dryer (the washer/dryer hookup cabinet is too small for standard sized machines...), issues with getting internet set up (apparently, with our house being a duplex, the internet company "can't" set up internet... so we've been without internet for a month), and almost running out of money (we had to pay first and last month's rent, plus a carry-over from our old apartment lease which overlapped with our new lease)...

- But all those complications aside, we love our new house and are very happy that we moved!  We have a bit more space, nicer appliances, and hardwood (fake, but still very nice) floors.

- I was in charge of putting on the Upper School Musical this year.  Students in 7th-12th grade have been working since early November to learn Beauty and the Beast, and our performances were the last couple days of February.  The last couple of weeks have been full of tech rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances.  I've been working long days, but it was soooo fun!  The show turned out great, despite having to be held in an awkward "cafetorium."  The students are so talented and I'm so proud of all the hard work they put in!

Here are some pics:

Ignore his untucked shirt... it was a rehearsal and it was really hot on stage!

I dropped a few hints, and they got me this framed cast picture!

Aren't they adorable?!

Teacher and student
Some of my favorite moments from the show:

Beast: "She's so beautiful..."
Preschool audience member: Interrupting "What?!"


Beast: Falls down, injured, music is dramatic
Preschool audience member: Very loudly "Oh NO!!!"


Cogsworth: Forgot his line, so he said this instead, "And right this way we have exquisite tapestries dating all the way back to the 1980s..."


After the show
Preschool audience member: "Hi, Cinderella!"


So what is next?  The rest of this semester holds many exciting things.  We have Grandparents' Day (a huge event for the Lower School), a jazz choir festival at Troy University (I'm taking a small group of students), Short Term (a week of trips for students, and fun classes for those who aren't going on trips... I'm teaching a class on Film Music), Spring break (much needed), Fine Arts Gala (Art, Music, and Drama Department fundraiser), Alabama All-State Festival (a 4 day choir festival in Birmingham), End of the Year Concert, and Graduation (the choir is performing).   So it's busy times ahead.  

I'm not sure when I'll get the chance to blog again.  If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!  I'll try to blog more this month, but I can't promise anything.  Plus I don't really have any interesting things to say.

Alright, I'm off to get a pedicure on my relaxing day off!  See you later!