Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Best Thing I Learned This Summer

Boy, what a busy summer it has been!! 
I've taken a little rest from creating and blogging to give some attention to my family, my home and my friends. 
The school year is so busy that I sometimes feel that my students get the best of me and I have nothing left after the bell rings.  
Summer lets me give more of myself to those I love the most :) 

These dudes for instance: 

My husband and 2 boys spent a few sun-drenched days at the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. 

During the day we read, soaked up the sun and rode the waves, and when the sun went down...
...hardcore family game night commenced.

OH!! and since we have a new baby in the house...our rescued kitty, Juni...I had to give lots of cuddles to my furbabies as well. I just know...summertime is their favorite time of the year because their mommy sits and they climb atop. 

My husband and I also jetted off to the Teachers Pay Teachers conference in VEGAS!! It was our first time there (that calls for its own separate blog post) and I got to hang out with some of my favorite SLP bloggers and TPT sellers!!  It was so much fun and soooo motivating!

Speaking of my fellow bloggers, today I am linking up with my friends, the FRENZIED SLPS, to tell you about the best thing I learned this summer....

Besides the much needed family time, I've been spending time with my little core group of friends. We really need a badass name for ourselves.  
We are a hot mess of opinionated, half-crazy-in-a-good-way women just doing the best we can, but we are there for each other through thick and thin- sort of like a marriage- through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, etc., etc.,  
Unfortunately, one of my dearest friends, Rachel, has actually put this to the test.  At age 34, she has metastatic renal cell carcinoma. 
On the cancer scale, renal cell carcinoma is as horrible as it gets. 
It's vile and wicked, and I hate it. 
Rachel has handled it with more grace and strength and courage than I could ever muster. 
This summer she hasn't just been my friend- she's been my teacher.  

Rachel's days are numbered {so she's been told for quite a while} 
but she still lives life in the front row.  
In fact, she has already outlived her life expectancy, and she just returned from a family excursion to New Orleans. 
That girl doesn't waste a second!
Even though she's functioning with only one lung at the moment, she sucks in each morsel of life's wonder and savors it like caviar. 
Actually she always has- at least for as long as I have known her.
I think it's a rare gift. 

Cancer is taking her health, but it has not stolen anything else - not her humor or her faith or her passion for the things she loves the most- or her general pizazz.  
I should mention she's one of the most gifted teachers I've ever had the pleasure of working alongside and she remains one my son's favorite teachers.  Well, like I said, now she is teaching me. 
Over the past year, she's schooled me (and everyone else blessed enough to know her) on how to truly live.

If you're so inclined,  follow her story on Caring Bridge (RachelBabin2). Also, please pray for her adoring husband and young sons.  If only we all had her positive outlook on life.  She inspires me, and I'm so lucky to be able to say she's my friend. 

Here is a recent post from her.  It's long, but I promise it is worth the read. 


So the best thing that I learned this summer....I learned from my friend, Rachel. 

As cliche' as it sounds, I have learned not to waste a moment. 
I hope to keep this lesson with me always as a gift from her.

I will stop waiting for the weekend, for the next school break, or for the next holiday to drink up all the goodness life has to offer.  I will stop wishing the week away just to get to Friday night. 

I will choose joy and optimism and hope over sadness and negativity and bitterness

I will notice the greatness in little moments and soak them up and swim in them.
The little moments are what make our big life.

I will tell and show people how you feel about them NOW- not on their birthday or Christmas or Thanksgiving.

I will be happy for each moment. 
They make up my life, and I only get one of those. 

I admit I have a tendency to fall into negativity, to have a pity party, to be cynical and to complain and harp on hardships. For example, today I have a pretty bad cold and I'm in the midst of moving into a closet-of-a-therapy-room- next-to-a-toilet and my house is dirty and I have to get a mammogram next week and I'm worried about my son starting his senior year and all that entails...and I wish I wasn't going back to school in two weeks.... BUT YA KNOW WHAT....I will choose to find the joy.  Bring it on, life. 

I am grateful for it. 

Life is good and beautiful, and I will breathe in every little whiff of it... 
and stare at my children and memorize their young faces....
and smile at people on the street and at the grocery store and everywhere I go... 
and hug my dad a little longer and hold my mom's hand....
and dance with my husband in the kitchen and laugh really loud and hard until I cry happy tears....
and sing obnoxiously loud and proud to the car radio and go out for ice cream late at night...
and tell my friends I love them while I can. 

 I am changing my focus to joy.  
I have learned that life is too short not to live it in the front row. 
  Thanks for the lesson, Rachel." title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up


  1. I am so sorry about your friend. What fantastic life lessons you're learning from her!!! (Love the new look of the blog, BTW!)

  2. So touching, sad and inspirational all at the same time.
    All Y’all Need

  3. Live in the hard to do, but so needed. The world is a better place because of your friend!

  4. Amazing post, Mia. I am praying for Rachel and you."...when things are in danger some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them." Frodo to Samwise; Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien

  5. "I hope you dance"! Your post brought tears, you are a beautiful writer and person and I'm so lucky to call you a friend too. PS Your blog looks amazing!!

  6. Your post is so amazing, Mia. Thank you so much for sharing such inspiration during such a heartbreaking time.

  7. So poignant and true Mia. Thanks for stating it so beautifully.

  8. I love this post, Mia! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Okay Mia...I totally balled! Truly thankful for you being so open and sharing this story. Tell your friend that she is in my prayers from California.

  10. You are such a beautiful writer, Mia! Beautiful story, thanks for sharing with us.

  11. Mia, you are a beautiful soul. Thank you for this post. I am so sorry to read about your friend, Rachel. Cancer is so awful. Please tell her that I am praying for her. I haven't seen your blog in a while, and just wanted to let you know how awesome it is. I love it! Best wishes, Manda

  12. What a beautiful post! Love this story and will be praying for you and your friend.

  13. That was so raw and real! Thinking of you both. What a beautiful spirit you both have! Thanks for sharing Mia!


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