Cary & Teresa (9.26.2019)
My parents got married 35 years ago today. 35 years. Woah. That is such a long time.
My parents knew each other growing up as kids. They lived in different towns and attended very different high schools, but they went to the same church camp. My mom grew up in Marion, and my dad was raised on a farm in Converse, Indiana. My dad entered the workforce right after college, and my mom pursued her degree in Elementary Education.
My dad is a very gregarious, even-tempered kind of guy. He has his passions, but it takes a lot to get him riled up. My mom, on the other hand, is a little more fiery and tells it like it is. They are both incredibly hardworking (working 50+ hours a week) and have always sacrificed everything for my sister and me.
They are serious #relationshipgoals. Like any couple, they have had their struggles and hard times, but they have one of the strongest unions I have ever seen. They are best friends, each other’s biggest supporters and have a deep love for one another that is unwavering.
They truly care for each other in the good times and bad, in sickness and health. My dad has taken care of my mom when she lost part of her finger in a boating accident and had an episode of strokes. He sat right by her side, in the scariest times, making sure she was ok. My mom has encouraged my dad to take better care of himself, reminds him to take his medicine and pushes to figure out exactly what’s wrong when he’s not feeling well.
I could only be so fortunate to find a love like the one my parents share. They are a true inspiration, and I feel very fortunate to have such a solid example of what a relationship should be. Day in and day out, we see the impact of unhealthy relationships on our kiddos. I have so much respect for their dedication, patience and care for one another.
The Little Things (9.19.2019)
A kindergarten student and I have been taking walks. The intended purpose was for his benefit, but it has been a nice reset for both of us. Yesterday morning I was able to share breakfast with one of our little learners, and it set both of us up for a successful rest of the day. There are a number of students who enthusiastically wave in the backseat of their cars and yell, “Good morning!!!” each day. I love the moments when a smile lights up a student’s face after they are given a compliment or made to feel special.
When I was feeling a little under the weather last week, I received a number of emails and texts from you all checking in on me. Your smiles, hugs, laughs and jokes (even Quinn’s bad ones) brighten my days. The little surprises you leave and notes of encouragement mean the world to me.
The weather has been AMAZING this week. On Wednesday night, there were tons of monarch butterflies flying around at the beach. It was absolutely breathtaking. I was positive my evenings at the beach were over, but we've had a number of "bonus days".
Early morning snuggles and a selfie with my pup. Hearing my little Kermit bark and wag his tail after he’s not been feeling well, and seeing my Lapua Westeros chase his Kong in the backyard brighten my day. I was able to FaceTime with my nephew a few nights ago, and it warmed my heart to hear him say, “I love you, Aunt Sam.”
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the things that bring us down— in the things that are hard. When we take the time to recognize the little things- a snuggle from a pup, a child holding your hand after having a struggle in the classroom, a hug from a friend- we fill ourselves up a little more. It gives us the positive energy to keep going.
Baltimore Ravens (9.12.2019)
Summer is, by far, my favorite season. I am always pretty sad when it draws to an end, but each fall I look forward to football season. In particular, I look forward to Baltimore Ravens football.
I always hear the same question when it comes to my team, "How did you become a Ravens fan?!" I have always been a fan of the NFL. When I was a kid, I would watch whatever team was playing on the local channels that week-- sometimes the Colts, the Bears, the Browns or the Cowboys. I just love the game of football and the intensity of the sport.
The Baltimore Ravens have always been known for the tenacity of their defense. Guys like Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed used to light up other teams every week. I loved watching them whenever I could. When my boy Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh joined the Ravens 12 years ago, I decided I had to be "all in". The team was so much fun to watch and played at such a high caliber... well, most of the time.
For the last 12 years, my love for my Ravens has continued to grow. I own a ridiculous number of Ravens jerseys, and a large Maryland flag hangs on my fence. When I went on vacation to the East Coast, I was sure to plan to go to Baltimore (even though it was in the middle of July). I listen to Ravens podcast and keep up to date through social media.
When I was a classroom teacher, my kids were known as "Miss Berglan's Ravens". The tables in our classroom were named after players, and we celebrated Purple Friday together every Friday. They would draw the Ravens logo on basically everything, and many kiddos (from my class and others) loved to talk to me about the games each week.
I absolutely love watching my Ravens play. I have been described as "animated" during the games, whether my boys are playing well or not so well. (For this reason, I now have the Sunday ticket. haha) The 16 games (with the hopes of a few more in the playoffs) each year are some of my favorite times. Everyone that knows me well knows how excited I get for game days.
As you know, my cell phone died on Monday around 1 PM. The screen went black, and it proceeded to flash the apple symbol for days. There was no way to revive it; no chance of recovery.
Initially, I panicked. How would I wake up in the morning without using the alarm? I wouldn't be able to receive emails, text messages or phone calls. How would I connect with the outside world? What about social media? How would I know what the weather will be like? And no access to Apple Music or Spotify? The horror!
I'm not going to lie, it has been extremely difficult. I have caught myself wondering, "How do I do this without my phone?" multiple times. I legitimately did not go to the gym on Tuesday, because I could not listen to music! But it has also been really great. Randomly, I will realize that I haven't heard a single buzz from a text or email in hours. I have had moments where I've realized how calm this has allowed me to feel. I went to the beach and read a book instead of listening to music or a podcast. I have been more focused on the "in the moment" instead of what's ahead.
I am definitely not prepared to totally go off the grid, but the death of my phone has served as a not so gentle reminder of the importance of distancing myself from that constant connection (and distraction) device. It has prompted me to think more about my own self care and what changes I should make moving forward. I have also been reminded that not everything is urgent and requires and immediate response.