Thanks for stopping by my blog. Heart Soul Tummy is a blog hopefully to encourage, inspire, and make you smile. It is a little bit of everything that makes me happy! I am new to this, so don't judge me too much on my blogger skills, or lack there of.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Do what makes you happy

This morning I woke-up at 5 0’clock and went skating. The ice kind. I met with my coach. I practiced my spins and jumps. I was a little rusty, but surprisingly not bad. The smooth ice, the cool air, the smell of the arena all worked together this morning to awake in me a happy heart. Why am I skating? Aren’t you too old for figure skating? Let me tell you how I arrived at the decision to skate again.

I recently read an article about life and the importance of making the most of it. The overall theme was “life is short.” We all know this, yet we don’t spend enough time doing things to fulfill our purpose, to be happy, or better ourselves. I found myself, with two small children, saying “I will do that again someday.” Whether it was my workout goals, nutritional goals, reading goals, spiritual goals, personal goals, etc…  I was under the impression that I will have more time in the future. But is that really true? Will I have more time?
Before kids, I must have had a lot of time. But surprisingly, I didn’t feel like I had all the time in the world. I was still busy. My schedule was full of stuff. Today, my schedule is still full of stuff just different “stuff.” Today, I have more time devoted to my kids than to myself because babies are needy creatures. I love it, don’t get me wrong. But, devoting time to my family doesn’t mean I neglect myself. God made me a wife, then a mother, but before all that, he made me an individual. I still need to set individual goals and have things that are my own. 

I resolved to work towards becoming the person God has created me to be regardless of what season of life I am in.

Life shouldn’t just be busy. It should be lived on purpose. If we spend our time toward a goal, toward bettering ourselves life is more fulfilling. I want to look back in 10 years and say, “Wow! I have come a long way.”  I don’t want to be in the same spot I am now. I want to grow in my faith, to spend quality time with my my husband, my babies, and my friends. I want to be doing things that make me happy. 

Life is not a dress rehearsal. We do, in fact, have only a finite time on this Earth. What are you doing with your time?

In light of this revelation, I decided I am tired of putting the things that bring joy to my heart off. This is not a midlife crisis, but rather a “wake-up” call.

So, I talked to my husband and made a list. I listed the things that bring happiness to my soul. I discovered I  am most happy when I am skating. At first I thought, “I am just too old to do figure skating again.” I was quite the skater when I was a young girl  but gave it up, once I got into dance and boys, in high school. (Side-note young peeps: never give up anything you love for a boy. Not. Worth. It). But then I said… “Wait, wait.  Who says I am too old to skate? I am strong and healthy. So what if I am nearing 30? When is 30 too old?” Well, guess what? You are now “looking” at the newest member of the Saint Joseph Figure Skating Club (SJFSC). That’s right.

Does this mean she is doing competitions? That is just weird.
No, it does not mean I will be competing in the little sparkly dresses.

I am doing it for the love of the sport. I am doing it to set goals for myself and challenge my mind and body. I am doing it to be a part of something and frankly to get away from my kids for an hour of “me time.” At this point in life, there are not many free opportunities to go be alone, but with skating, I can be alone. I am alone on the ice where no one needs me. I am free to skate, to jump, to speed around with the cool ice beneath my blades and occasionally on my butt. I. Am. Happy.

My point is, don’t say you’re too old to try something you love again or something new. Maybe you were a runner, or an artist, or a writer (or have always wanted to be those things). Do it. What are you waiting for? Life does not slow down… I have discovered. You will always fill your time at every stage in life. Why are you waiting until you retire? I am sorry, but your old bones are not going to function the way they will today. We are not getting younger or less busy. So, do those things that make you happy. Let’s face it moms, we give a lot. We wear many hats in life. If we don’t stop to do things that help us grow as individuals, we are going to burn out. Trust me.  I have burned out before… it was not pretty.

God has given us this one life, to glorify Him; he has given us gifts and talents. It would be a shame to wait to exercise those talents because we were too busy. Let’s do what matters. Let’s make the most of this life. Always remember, this is not a dress rehearsal. One day, it will be too late. One day, we will take our last breath. One day, our lost time will amount to a big pile of regrets or “what-could-have-beens.”

I hope you will make your “happy” list. Do something, one thing, that you enjoy. Use the talents God has gifted you! I will not be competing at the next Olympics, I can assure you. But, it does feel good to be an athlete again. To strive toward goals that otherwise would seem impossible.

Here’s to doing something that makes you happy and gives you a sense of purpose. Now, just do it already!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tales from Teaching

So I have a dear friend, Lindsey, who has been writing little tales from her experience as a middle school teacher in an all boys school. Once she completes one, she sends it to me. They are short and hilarious. (She could publish a book.) Being a teacher is a lot like being a comedian except you don't have to work to get your material, it just falls in your lap. When Keith and I were first married, I could often entertain him with my endless amounts of funny material I picked up while at work. Well here is a sample. Names have been altered for protection :)

I was pregnant with my first child. I was VERY pregnant. It was the beginning of December. We were nearing my due date, Christmas, and a long awaited break. I was puffy, round, uncomfortable, and wearing maternity clothes that barely held it all together. Let's face it, I was a blimp. On this balmy, December morning, I stood in front of my classroom and gave my darling freshman students a writing prompt. That is what we English teachers do. We give prompts so students have a chance to write down thoughts. After I had given the prompt, I asked students to share their experiences and writing with their table groups. Up from the back, a hand emerges. It was the hand of Carlos. You see Carlos never raised his hand, and was often off-task. He took a lot of redirection, to put it mildly. I called on Carlos, Lord only knows what he was going to share, but I took a chance.
"Yes, Carlos. Question?" I said.
"Ya, I was wondering when you start getting erections, what is going to happen if you are teaching class?"
"Excuse me? When I get what?" I sputtered.
"You know, erections before the baby comes." Said the all too confident Carlos.
I just smiled, then said, "You mean contractions?"
Then, the rest of the class caught one. They are freshman, what can I say. Laughter. Red faces. Priceless.
You can't make this stuff up. Seriously. Comedy just falls in your lap when you teach.

Now that I am an online teacher, I thought my days of comedy were over. Boy was I wrong. The mode of teaching is different, but the students are still the same. Here is my latest comedy sketch. Again, you can't make this stuff up.

I was teaching class in my online classroom. All the students were chatting away and we were reading a story. See in the online world you have chat and lessons and audio and webpages going all at once. It can be quite an experience. Anyway, I was reading "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorn. We were running out of time, as always, so I was trying to speed things along. I began to read the last paragraph faster. While I was speedily wrapping up the story, I look over to see the chat box. You have to keep an eye for behavior issues even in the online classroom. I noticed a comment a student made.
"Mrs. Hill is raping this story."
Upon seeing this comment I immediately called attention to the student and replied, "What in the world is that supposed to mean?  I was raping the story? That is hardly appropriate."
Another student chimed in and said, "I think he meant rapping."
"Wow. This just got awkward." Piped another student.
We pretty much decided that the importance of spelling was crucial in the online classroom. We had to move on. I bet the face on that kid was priceless. Too bad we were online. I would have loved to see his reaction. Great times.

Tales from teaching is a new blog topic I will experiment with as the stories present themselves.

Thanks for reading.

Goodbye Letter to Topeka

Dear Topeka,

I have had a hard time believing we are leaving Topeka, not because I saw myself staying here forever or I grew up here or something, but it was comfortable. It was home. It was where my son took his first steps. It was where my daughter took her first breath of life. It was where Keith and I grew to love each other more deeply through life's trials, where we grew as parents, where we had a church home with some pretty cool friends. It wasn't until today, that I realized, I am leaving. Tomorrow. I leave Topeka tomorrow. We move not only our things, but our life. We can't take the people who have shaped us. And it was today, I was reminded of how lucky and blessed we have been here even if I can't see what is ahead. I have my best friend by my side and God's hand as my guide.

I am sad to leave, to be honest. I am sad because I had some pretty sweet people in my life. I had a great running friend, a good friend in Christ. I will miss you. You know who you are. I had some friendships that dwindled, but there are no regrets and always fond remembrances. You also know who you are.

I will be leaving Topeka, holding sweet memories in my heart. Times I grew as person, a wife, and mother.

Here's to new beginnings, new adventures, and hopefully our journey will be just as blessed as it has been here.

Love you Topeka; Love you friends. Time was never wasted here.

Take time to enjoy where you are... and invest in what you have in this moment.

Trusting God with our future.

I will see you on the flip!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Moby and I are Best Friends

I have a Moby wrap. It is an obnoxiously long piece of fabric that I gave up on once Calla was a about 3 months old. Well, in desperation to get my floors cleaned while soothing a screaming-at-the-highest-decibel-possible baby I once again pulled it out from hiding and watched a YouTube video refresher for the best way to position the baby and tried it again. To my surprise, baby Calla was knocked out in seconds. I actually was able to scrub the floors, on hands and knees mind you, and vacuum all while she was sleeping. SLEEPING NOT SCREAMING. I can now say I know how the Natives felt baby wearing while working. It really does work. I am now wearing Calla pretty much all day. It keeps her content, and I can still get ish done. Not fashionable you say, non-sense. I say this is the new Chihuahua trend. Soon to hit red carpets everywhere. Only kidding. Babies should not be accessories. Let's be serious. Ha.  

I Gave Up

As you know, I took the challenge to blog every day in July. Well, let's just say I failed. I quit the week of my birthday for various reasons. First, I was tired of the topics. Too personal. Discuss struggles? No thanks. Second, that week I was wrapping up finals for my on-line classes and prepping for our upcoming training that was in Manhattan the following week. Not too mention I have a demanding 5 month old and a rambunctious 2 year old. Exhausting to say the least. No time. I was a busy girl. Now that I have a lull in my schedule, (on-line classes pick back up on the 12th) I decided to write and confess that I fell short on the challenge but I am not giving up blogging. So, my plan is to post weekly. Give you all an update of my new schedule as I balance being a mom of two and teaching from home. Should be interesting.
Thanks for not judging me too harshly.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 14: Ten Things That Make Me Happy

This is in no particular order, but here are 10 things that make me happy.

1. Spending time with God, reading his word, and praying. This is when I feel most peaceful and satisfied.
2. When Calla does her morning stretches and her coos and smiles. Just holding her and looking at her make me so full of love and happiness.
3. When Chip surprises me with a kiss and a "bear hug."
4. Laying in bed with my son, Chip, in the morning as he is waking up. He smells sleepy and he is warm. It is one of my favorite moments in my day.
5. When Keith and I sit together, alone, and talk. He is my best friend and sharing life with him makes me happy. I love our time together.
6. Christmas. Anything Christmas. Songs, presents, trees, food... Make me happy.
7. Running outside. Something about being outside. Looking at the sky. I love the feeling I get after too.
8. Nap time. When the house is quiet and I can curl up on the couch with a book. Pure joy.
9. My two favorite treats: Coffee and coffee dates at Starbucks or ice cream and ice cream dates at DQ.
10. Clean house- no dishes in the sink, vacuum lines in the carpet, tile sparkling, bathrooms cleaned. I just love for things to feel clean. Then I can relax.

Day 13: Public Apology

 To thine own self be true - William Shakespeare, Hamlet

I would like to apologize for not always being true to myself. Sometimes I do things to please others, and I end up over-committed, stressed, and an overall disappointment to myself and others. Or sometimes I fall into the pressures of focusing on things that aren't important because others around me are focusing on those things: vanity, materialism, mother-of-the-year, etc. One of the lessons I am learning currently is that peer pressure can go both ways. Standing up for what you believe may feel lonely, or you may lose friends, but there is always someone watching you that may be influenced by your actions. Peer pressure doesn't have to be negative, and it most certainly doesn't have to go with the crowd. I need to stay true to myself and let what is important to me guide my decisions not because I feel I have to, or someone will be mad at me if I don't. I am too old to play the popular game. I am sorry I haven't always been true to myself. I have fallen into the trap of doing things that I shouldn't for all the wrong reasons. It has left nothing but regret and wasted time. That is not how I want to live my life. So what I am going to do is try to be more conservative with my time. More honest with myself and others about how I feel, and press on. Don't fall into the pressures of others. Be true to yourself.