Who and What

My name is Hailey and my grandfather is a farmer. I'm the 7th generation to live on the family farm, and my babies (when the time comes) are going to be the 8th. My husband and I are even renovating a trailer on my grandparent's farm so we can move back to the family farm sooner. This blog encompasses the things that are important to me. These things are:

~Special Education
~ADHD, including my own battle with it over the years. It's now my superpower.
~Farm Life
~Equal rights for women.
~Goal setting
~Fitness and health
~Financial Stability
~Personal Happiness

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday: The Students That Have Melted My Heart This Week

This week has had the potential to be an extremely stressful week. My grandfather had surgery on Tuesday, my neighbor called me asking for help with her sick horse the same day, there's been a lot of general craziness and this weekend does not promise to bring me any down time. And yet, I feel that there is little to be upset about.

Grandaddy is doing so well there is talk of bringing him home as early as tomorrow. So far, the horse seems to be, at the very least, comfortable and content. And the craziness has been mostly of my own choosing so I can't get too upset about it. But one of the main reasons I have been so positive this week is due to the amazing love and kindness my students have shown me this week.

Starting on Monday, my students were very loving, not that they aren't generally. However, ones that aren't normally huggers came up and gave me a few. I'm not sure why, maybe I looked like I needed it, but all the same I was glad to have them. One of my (mostly) nonverbal students came up to me and had me put my hand over his eyes. It's a game we play together, but he has never been the one to initiate it before. It may seem small, but keep in mind, I'm a special ed teacher. We celebrate the tiniest things, because for our students they are huge milestones.

Tuesday, I can't even begin to tell you how well they took care of me. I was extremely distracted and was having a, "loose my head if it wasn't screwed on." When I got my papers out of order in reading, they humored me. One even joked (this is a six year old, mind you) "here I have your brain, let me put it back in for you." All the while he mimed doing so. When I lost my keys, one of them found them and brought them into my class room.

Wednesday, I coached my Girls on the Run team. Those girls are something special. I look forward to coaching them as one of my favorite parts of the week. Right now, we're training for a 5k, any they are working so hard. All of them have made a lot of progress and seem to be really growing from the experience. I see so much good character and kindness growing in these girls.

I noticed one had a really cool looking notebook and asked to see it, not realizing she was taking notes in it. She told me okay, but I couldn't peek. While I had every intention of respecting her privacy, she accidentally cracked it, and I caught a glance. She was writing how many laps she had done and other positive things. I thought, "YES! She's getting this!"

We also do this really cool thing at the end of practices where we give energy awards to the girls who have worked hard or pushed through or have been super helpful to others. Anyone can give them to anyone. The girls game me two. I have no idea why, but it made me feel good.

Today, I was late for work. Not by administration standards, but by mine. I need about 30 minutes to get myself together in the morning, and I was still quite scattered when one of my students who receives academic and behavioral support from me in the morning came in. She cheerfully helped me to  get together the supplies for my first graders and for her own lessons.

Later, I was working on a reading evaluation with one of my first graders. At the beginning of the year, this student was reading at a GRL of A/B. Today, she tested as independent on level F. She is nearly ready to move to a level G. She has made 10 months of growth in just 7 months. When she finished, I told her how proud I was of her. I truly am. She's worked hard for this, and she wants to do well. She said to me, "Mrs. G.-C." and then bit her lip. She threw her arms around my neck in a bear hug, and tears came into my eyes.

Normally I take care of my students, but this week, they in their own way, took care of me and showed me hope for a better world. These are elementary school students. Many of them have challenges that impede their learning or social skills. If they can show love, compassion and kindness toward me, why can't we all demonstrate that to others? If a six year old can make me laugh with so much worry on my mind, why can't we all add a few more giggles to the world? If a little girl with a learning disability can catch up to her peers, can't we all try a little harder? If 10 girls can band together to make their coach's day special, can't we all bring a little more light to everyone's lives?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My First Attempt at Say Anything Saturday: Stream of Consciousness and Attempt to Get Over Writer's Block

I have been trying very hard this week to get inspired to write, but for some reason I have encountered a fairly significant block. Usually my posts practically write themselves but this week, forget it. I can't think of anything. I blame the fact that I've written two IEPs for students this week, and while these are a necessary part of the SPED world, they tend to beat the creativity right out of you. So in an attempt to get over this block, I'm going to try something different. I'm going to set a timer for 10 minutes and write whatever the heck pops into my head during that time. to exactly the makings of the next great American novel, but maybe it will get me past the concrete wall in my mind. Ready, set, GO!

So, I'm in the garden right now, and the dogs are hanging out with me and it's lovely and warm. Brad's planting potatoes, at least I think they're potatoes, but who really knows. It's pleasant except for his music, which is, "Kona stop digging!" definitely not my cup of tea. But I don't claim mine is superior either, so I suppose the point is moot and damn you autocorrect because it keeps changing my words and that is totally messing with my train of thought.

My stomach is starting to growl and I'm considering lunch and what I currently have in the fridge. I'm leaning toward a ham and cheese sandwich on one of the hamburger buns Brad made last night. Yep, you read right, made. There has been no store bought bread of any kind in my house since January first.   It's so much better, except for the few trial and error incidents we've had with buns, but I think we finally found a good recipe for them. We are also on a mission to start a CSA (community sustained agriculture) program that provides subscribers with a full diet, as a way to use family land in a productive manner. This year we're just doing veggies and we've started so many I can barely remember what's what anymore. Also, our house looks a bit suspicious thanks to the fact that there are grow boxes and lights everywhere. We'e not growing anything illegal, but my living room reminds me of an episode of Weeds.

However, in spite of this comparison, I love what we're doing. I love to show it off when friends come over. I can't tell if they think it's cool or that we're completely out of our minds, but either way I don't care. It mass me happy to see things we planted coming out of the ground and knowing that it's food we will be able to eat and share with others. There's a magic to it.

I'm a little nervous as we move in to the next steps. Ultimately we'd like to make our living this way. What if no one buys our food? What about insurance? How are we going to advertise this? My timer just buzzed, and that's probably good, because that has stopped me from going further into worry mode.   If there's anyone reading that would like to know more or reassure me about this farming and CSA thing, that would be awesome. If not, hope you enjoyed this brief peak into the mind of The Farmer's Granddaughter.

Friday, February 27, 2015

#LoveMe Challenge, What Have You Accepted About Yourself?

A big part of love is acceptance. This goes for any relationship, but especially in the relationship we have with ourselves. Part of learning to love myself is accepting myself, as I am and without apologizing or feeling sorry for myself. Some of what I have accepted are things I have left unchallenged for years, while other things are more recent developments. I love my life, and I love myself and the person I am becoming. I am not there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday, and I have an end destination in mind. Here are many of the things I have accepted about myself.

  1. I have accepted that I will never be 5'7, and that I'm not willing to wear 5 inch heels to come close. 
  2. I've embraced the fact that I am ADHD and I won't be outgrowing it. 
  3. I am okay with the fact that I have to make lists and keep fairly detailed calendars to keep up with things. 
  4. I understand that my hair will never be easily styled and I've given up the fight for more worthy pursuits. 
  5. I accept that the things I like are not what is necessarily popular with the rest of the world. I am no longer trying to make myself enjoy things I hate, just so I can fit in. 
  6. I realize that I will never "fit in" with the "popular" crowd, no matter how old I am. I have realized that while there is one no matter where you go, it isn't something I want to fall in with anyway. 
  7. I am okay with the fact that there are many thing I don't understand and I don't mind asking for help. 
  8. I recognize that while there are things I could do to be more attractive, I just don't care that much. And there's nothing wrong with that. 
  9. I've accepted that my dreams are big and will require many years to achieve. 
  10. I've realized that the journey I have taken with my education and career so far may be very different then when I may ultimately end up doing, and that is perfectly fine. 
  11. I understand that I will sometimes say the wrong things, and that I'm not the only one. 
  12. I've accepted that I am not an athlete in the traditional sense, but that doesn't mean that I cannot take care of myself or strive for physical fitness.
  13. I recognize that I am not yet a good teacher yet, nor can I be since it is only my first year. 
  14. I realize that there is still much to learn about the day to day and week to week tasks of my job. 
  15. I have accepted that I will make many mistakes and that perfection is not possible. The unsinkable Titanic is at the bottom of the ocean.
  16. I understand that I can be impatient and that I must work on this.
  17. I accept that others will try to convince me I need to be "fixed" but that I am not broken. 
  18. I realize there will be things that do not come easily to me and there will be things I have to work harder at. 
  19. I understand that not every day is going to be a happy one, but I cannot let myself get bogged down by it. 
  20. I accept that not everyone will approve of my life choices and that they don't need to for me to be happy. 
  21. I have embraced the fact that I will never be a graceful or even a good dancer. 
  22. I've recognized that there still is a lot of fear I need to conquer. 
  23. I've accepted the fact that I may need to reevaluate my medication regimen in order to live life to the fullest. 
  24. I've realized that there is nothing selfish in putting myself first. 
  25. I accept that my personal style is to make me happy and no one else. 
  26. I accept that my beauty is my own version, and some people will question it. That is their right, but it does not make me any less beautiful. 
  27. I accept that my happiness is my responsibility, not anyone else's. 
I accept my flaws and my strengths. I am proud of both and no one can hold any of them against me, because I do not lie to myself or anyone else about them. I encourage you to accept yourself and live only to please you. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

#LoveMe Day 26, What Makes You Feel Beautiful?

Shamelessly stolen from: dailymakeover.com.  

For all my many insecurities, I will say that for the most part my looks have not been one of them. True, I am no great beauty, those genes went to my younger sister in spades. (No resentment, I promise, I'm still taller.) But I am proud to say I am confident in my own appearance on the whole. However, there are days where I feel absolutely radiant from the inside and out. These are the moments where I am so happy I feel as if I must be glowing loveliness from the inside out. Some of these instances are:

  1. When my students tell me I'm beautiful. Something about hearing it from voices that are at times painfully honest makes it that much more true for me. 
  2. Anytime the sun is out and warming my face. 
  3. The occasions where I am somehow able to walk gracefully in heels. 
  4. When I'm riding a horse and I know everything is working the way it's supposed to and you cannot tell where one stops and the other starts. 
  5. Those moments where I think I'm gross and I catch my husband giving me that look.
  6. When my jeans fit absolutely, perfectly right. 
  7. After I finish a workout and I know I did my best. 
  8. Dancing, even though I probably look like a spider on a hotplate. 
  9. The days where I feel like "yep, I handled things."
  10. The moment after a laughing fit where I'm gasping for air, my face is flushed and I probably look terrible, but I feel alive. 
  11. Getting my hair cut and my eyebrows waxed. 
  12. The rare occasions when I wear my hair down. 
  13. When I've been working in the barn or outside and I have smudges of dirt on my face and hands and simply cannot be bothered to care. 
  14. When my hair has some curl to it, which is almost never, but I love how pretty it looks when it is. 
  15. Callouses on my hands
  16. Eating in a healthy way. 
  17. Any outfit that shows off the awesome muscles in my back. 
  18. Riding clothes that look amazing. 
  19. Dressing in bright colors.
  20. Coaching my Girls on the Run girls. We talk a lot about inner beauty and it helps me to find my own. 
  21. Wearing a tutu. 
  22. Hard work. In my opinion hard work is one of the sexiest things you can do. 
  23. Swinging on a swingset. Maybe this is weird, but I just feel light and free. 
  24. Those awesome days where I wake up and without doing anything look pretty good. 
  25. Having my hair played with. 
  26. Doing yoga.
  27. When my husband comes in from work after I've already come to bed and kisses me goodnight. 
Beauty is…well it's weird. There is science to it, but there is also emotions and how you feel about the person, including yourself. I've decided to like myself and that it's more than okay to appreciate my own appearance. Are the things that make you feel beautiful as strange as mine? 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#LoveMe Day 25, Things That Make Me Laugh

One of the best parts of working with children and animals are the many opportunities I am given for laughter on a daily basis. Animals are silly in their own way, and my students are filled with enough honesty to make anyone crack a smile. Add that to my wacky, crazy family and it's a miracle I don't pull a muscle in my side some days. Also, sometimes I am just way too easily amused. Here are some of the many things that have made me laugh in recent memory.

  1. "My cat ran away. I think she got married or something." ~First Grader
  2. "They put me on the Ritalin. It's for the wildness." ~First Grader
  3. I have a toddler I work with that gives "fish kisses."
  4. My sheltie chases her tail sometimes, to the point that she gets dizzy and falls over. 
  5. Dancing with my 5th grade student to a count by fives song. Neither of us have much rhythm.
  6. I kept yawning one day during a reading lesson and one student looked at me and said "wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey."
  7. I let the dogs out of their play area where they stay when we're not at home. My sheltie tried to run so fast she lost traction in the front end and flipped over backward. 
  8. My Aussie is a food ninja. She also happens to be missing the top teeth on the right side of her mouth, which allows her tongue to reach extra far. The other night after I gave them treats, Sage, the sheltie, dropped her bone. Before she could pick it up, Kona (the Aussie) had, keeping her own treat in her mouth, scooped up Sage's and run for the couch. 
  9. Sage tries to "help" me do yoga. Downward dog takes on a new meaning when you're dodging puppy kisses to the face. 
  10. My oldest horse, Libby, who is 27 and from Maine, romping in the snow last week. 
  11. Any of the challenges I face with my ADHD. Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself. 
  12. My friends that really get me.
  13. My sister's raw honesty when it comes to the world. 
  14. The time I had to say, "Evan, stop using Dani's ponytail for an obstacle course."
  15. The time I had to say, "Stop licking the light switch." Though at the time that wasn't funny. 
  16. My family. Seriously, we're hilarious. And mildly inappropriate.  
  17. Buzz Feeds that are completely relatable. The photo, in case you were wondering is from one about being an adult with ADHD. STORY OF MY LIFE!
  18. Sometimes I just search "funny animals" on Pinterest. 
  19. Hilarious autocorrects. 
  20. The face my horses make when they smell something funny. 
  21. Finally getting the adult jokes in old Disney movies. 
  22. The funny spelling mistakes kids make on writing assignments. Almost as funny as messed up autocorrects. 
  23. My Girls on the Run girls and the silly games we play as part of the program. 
  24. Kona's desperate attempts to get my attention. 
  25. Really bad puns. (What do you do with a dead chemist? Barium.)
  26. Our barn kitty, who chases my parent's dogs. 
  27. The time I told my students, get it together, or I'm just going to take a nap, and they started singing me a lullaby. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#LoveMe Day 24, What Makes You Happy

Happiness is something I have been in pursuit of for a long time. Which sounds cheesy, thanks to Will Smith and Thomas Jefferson, now that I think on it, but that doesn't make it any less true. Happiness, in recent years, is not something that has consistently come easily to me. But I know that it is something I deserve, so I am working really hard to find it and hold onto it. It's getting easier, but I have days where I can't seem to uncover it no matter how hard I try. I had started keeping a "5 good things" journal, where I wrote down 5 good things at the end of every day, but I haven't been very good about it the last few weeks. I plan to get back on track with that today. A list of things that make me happy seems like a good way to do it.

  1. A really good book. 
  2. A long ride on a nice horse. 
  3. A good home cooked meal.
  4. Time spent on projects with my husband.
  5. Sewing. 
  6. Getting my hands dirty doing something productive. 
  7. Sore muscles after a hard workout. 
  8. Coaching Girls on the Run.
  9. Love notes from my students. 
  10. Crossing things off my to do list. 
  11. Wearing an outfit. 
  12. Dreaming with my husband. 
  13. Clean sheets. 
  14. A really good cup of coffee. 
  15. Writing. 
  16. Snuggling with my puppies. 
  17. A song that seems to sum up everything you don't have the words for. 
  18. Planting things and watching them grow.
  19. The sound of rain on a metal roof. 
  20. Reassurance from others that I really am doing it right. 
  21. Time spent with friends. 
  22. Baby animals. Really, is it possible to look at a puppy and not smile. 
  23. Secretly wearing something goofy or a little naughty while the rest of me looks perfectly put together. For example, today my socks have pink and orange elephants on them, but I'm dressed for parent teacher conferences. 
  24. Not caring, genuinely not caring, what others think and doing what my heart tells me is right. 
  25. Appreciating the simple things. 
  26. Those "restore your faith in humanity" posts on Pinterest. Sometimes I need those. 
  27. Those quiet moments at the end of the day when you really feel like you've done something right.
I have embarked on a journey to "find my happy" this year. It's a daily challenge, but I believe it will be worth it. What makes you happy? 

#LoveMe Day 23, My Best Feature

A few years ago, the day I achieved my dream of trying sidesaddle. 

I was starting to feel like I was repeating myself on a lot of my blogs, so I decided I would ask for help from my Facebook friends. It's not something I normally do, but I thought about it, and decided something. Isn't part of loving yourself giving others the opportunity to show you love? Here were some of the things my friends said were my best feature, along with a few I added in myself.

  1. I'm not afraid to ask for help. 
  2. My honesty. 
  3. My kind heart. 
  4. My compassion.
  5. I'm hard working. 
  6. I'm resourceful. 
  7. Lots of physical symmetry. 
  8. A cute nose.
  9. Strong hands.
  10. Kind, vibrant eyes. 
  11. I'm take charge. 
  12. I always think of others along the way. 
  13. I'd rather make it on my own than have things handed to me. 
  14. I'm beautiful.
  15. I glow around my husband. 
  16. I'm thoughtful. 
  17. I have a super hot body shape. 
  18. My butt. (From the husband)
  19. My smile.
  20. My brain.
  21. I'll try anything once. 
  22. My laugh.
  23. My hair's pretty nice right now. 
  24. I always stand up for what's right, regardless of popularity.
  25. My dreams are big and I chase them until my lungs feel as if they will burst. 
  26. My belief that tomorrow can be better than today. 
  27. My desire to contribute to a better world. 
I encourage you to give others the opportunity to love you. Sometimes it is the greatest kind of love you can show yourself.