A Thankful New Year

So far, I’ve spent about 21 hours getting assignments, assessments, discussion questions, group discussion topics, exit questions, and “tech tool of the day” stuff ready for the Spring semester. New textbook (yay!) meant time for an overhaul. Have to edit assignments since I teach one section in a “normal” classroom setting and teach the same class in an online, self-paced setting. But I’m so glad I work part-time in the education industry with it’s cushy hours and vacation times where I have all this time off from anything work-related!  I’m just kidding.  Most of the people I know are very intelligent and realize that good teachers do not get all of Christmas Break completely “work-free”.

But seriously – loving the way that the semester is shaping up. And I’m still having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I am heading into the Spring of my FIFTH year teaching at Iowa Central Community College!! My tenth semester as a College Professor. Wow!

December 30, 2014 was the fifth anniversary of the day we moved into Fort Dodge, IA.  There are times that I think, “Has it already been five years?!”  Other times my brain runs in the opposite direction – “We’ve ONLY been here five years?”

Maybe it’s because so much has happened in those five years –

  • One child graduates from Cosmetology school
  • Two children graduate from high school (to be followed by the last child in the family this Spring)
  • One child graduated with her A.A. and will complete her B.A. in May
  • I’ve directed 5 shows at the local high school (with number six auditioning in late February!)
  • I’ve taught nine semesters as a college professor (starting number 10 in 11 days!)
  • I’ve played in the pit for 3 shows at the college (and the fourth starts soon!)
  • Hubby has done a number of weddings and, sadly, funerals.
  • Eldest child has gotten a full-time job and moved out on her own.
  • One child is engaged and getting married before 2015 ends

And my list could go on.  Have there been negative experiences?  Sure.  No human being alive is completely free from frustration or difficulties.  But there has been so much about our time here that has included really good things!  So happy anniversary to my family and I!  Can’t wait to see what the next five years holds!


I don’t know why, but my thoughts today were preoccupied with the “everyday blessings” in my life.  I mean, there are MANY worse ways to spend a day, right?! (Actually, I should have said “yesterday” since it’s after midnight!)

My eldest has recently started a new job and she really enjoys it.  Granted, there are specific tasks that don’t thrill her but overall, she likes going to work.  And she’s made a good enough impression on her bosses that she has been trained to close her department.  I’m very impressed by her professionalism on the job.  (And she enjoys the job so much, she’s considering getting a marketing degree!)

My second and third born children both got into the colleges of their choice for the fall – number 2 is transferring from the local community college and number 3 just graduated high school.  Couldn’t be prouder of the two of them!

My son decided back in December that he wanted to make Acapella choir for next year (his Junior year).  He set a goal, focused on the work he needed to do and made it!  Again – super proud of his hard work.

In my 40’s I have FINALLY figured out what I want to be when I grow up and a very dear friend has stepped in to help make a very big dream come true.  I’m not “there” yet but the first steps have been taken and the forward progress is faster than I expected!

Hubby and I have had the chance to have some AMAZING conversations about matters of faith lately and he was an amazing source of support and encouragement as I was working my way through a rather rough patch.

My family is not perfect.  My house is a bit of a mess.  I probably have a bad habit or two that I need to break and a good habit or two I should pick up.  I’m sure if I looked long and hard enough, I would find some things to get cranky/whiny/unpleasant about.  But you know what,  I much prefer ending the day with a smile on my face and an overwhelming sense of peace.  So I will mull over my “boring” blessings for a few more moments before I turn in for the night.

Choosing my Focus – Blessings

Been a rough couple of days personally.  Not sharing any details.  Airing the dirty laundry would not help the situation at all.  What I will do is focus on the blessings in my life.

1.  My husband.  He is my ROCK.  The “stuff” I’m dealing with is indirectly affecting him too and he is simply overwhelming me with his commitment to protect me and do what he can to deal with the situation.  He has put up with my crazy, musically obsessed self for more than 26 years now (we’ve been married for 24 of those).  He is my biggest fan and my most treasured gift.

2.  My kids. No, they are not perfect and we don’t always agree on everything.  But they have provided me with hours of laughter, music and fun.  We’ve wrestled through spiritual matters together, made memories together and occasionally driven each other crazy but I wouldn’t trade being their mom for ANYTHING.

3.  I’ve met so many amazing people here in Fort Dodge that share my love of and passion for the performing arts.  I am just more blessed than I deserve to get to work with these people on a regular basis!

4.  My friend Connie.  She and I really not much alike at all – she’s an athlete, I am SOOOO not; I’m a girlie girl, she’s more of a tomboy.  But she always knows just when I need her support and love.

5.  Another friend Katrina. She just makes my day better.  She is one of the most loving, caring, compassionate people I know and I am lucky enough to call her friend!

6.  Music.  I am coming up on the 40th anniversary of my first piano lesson.  Music has been my refuge, my emotional outlet, and my most authentic expression of worship.  Hans Christian Anderson said it best – “Where words fail, music speaks.”

7.  My faith.  I have learned and grown so much in recent weeks and it’s the ONLY reason I’m surviving this situation now!

I have no clue what is coming next.  I know I am not alone in dealing with the situation and I am truly blessed.  Soli Deo Gloria.


I feel like I should apologize for another post that is not very profound but the title of this blog is, after all, SIMPLE musings so I’m covered!

I’ve been struck today by the blessings in my life.

I have kids that make me laugh and keep me feeling young.  And they flatter their mother by occasionally seeking advice, venting and confiding, or simply giving me a blow by blow run-down of their day.  As if that wasn’t enough, I have several “honorary” kids who simply add to the fun!

I get to work with people I not only consider colleagues, but also friends.  Do you know how much easier it is for this night owl to get up at 6 a.m. when I know I’m going to see friends at work?!

Of the three part-time jobs I have, two of them are directly related to the performing arts.  One of those part-time jobs is with a musical theater production and I’ve donated a significant number of hours to the theater world so getting PAID to work with a show is a serious bonus!  As if that one show wasn’t enough of a blessing, I will have TWO MORE paid theater gigs before the end of the school year!

I could EASILY find things to complain about, believe me.  But I’m too aware of all the good in my life to feel anything but blessed!