Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Still not good enough

Friday, May 17, 2013
I feel defeated
For the past 4 years, I have steadily been looking for a job and I hate that feeling and want it to end. In 2010-2011, I was looking for a job in Texas, anywhere in Texas, to move Chris and I from Shawnee, OK. In 2010, I was offered a job in Midlothian, TX but declined the offer because we just felt Houston was a better choice over the DFW metro area for our family needs. In 2011, after Chris accepted his new teaching position at Aldine ISD, I spent over 2 months looking for a job teaching band or elementary music. I accepted my current position in late June and felt as if it was all part of God's plan, and ours too, as we wanted to continue our family's growth and have a 2nd child. In June 2012, Baby Luke graced us with his presence and while I was going to stay at my current position so I could have some maternity leave in the fall of 2012, I was still on the look-out for any possible band positions since I knew that is where I wanted to eventually get back in! Now here I sit in the spring of 2013 still searching, at this point frantically, for a band job! I have a "To-Do" list EVERY SINGLE DAY that I check countless school district  and other websites for postings. I feel like I cannot even relax or enjoy the fact that it is May and the end of the school year is near because I am anxious about finding and locating a BAND job.
I went on an interview last week for Huntsville ISD. This was an interview for 1 of 2 jobs at the intermediate school. The interview went really well except for 1 area when the Head Band Director asked me what I knew about Huntsville and Sam Houston Music Department. I did not attend or graduate from Sam Houston so honestly I did not know very much about the university or its music department. It seemed as if several of the directors, presidents and other higher up people at Sam Houston had kids who were part of the band program at Huntsville so they wanted someone who was familiar with Sam Houston and its Fine Arts department. Despite having a MASTERS and 8 years of teaching experience, they went with 2 people straight out of college from Sam Houston.

Honestly, this is where my frustration and depression started. I feel like all the hard work I put into getting a Masters degree in 2009 is a "moo" point and not even appreciated. I feel like since I have not taught band in Texas and am not in band currently, many people are overlooking me and finding others who have that experience in Texas or are young enough that Head Directors can "MOLD" into their own liking. I get that feeling like "I am still not good enough"! What else can I do to get these jobs?

All of that frustration happened in mid-May and then last week I saw on Facebook that a friend/ colleague of mine from OU had been offered and accepted the Director of Bands Position at a major university in Oklahoma. This friend and I spent all of our undergraduate days together in Catlett and were pretty competitive with each other by nature. We even taught in the same region in Oklahoma and were colleagues for 5 years. He quit teaching and started working on his Masters in PERFORMANCE about 3 years ago. He had always wanted to perform and teach horn lessons and not so much band. We always joked that I could be the band director and he would teach applied lessons. While I did not know this Director of Bands Position was open and did not apply, as I saw the post and update on Facebook I immediately felt joy and happiness for him but selfishly I was jealous and frustrated. He never wanted the "Head College Band Director" gig I like did. I have always had a dream of doing this and there was my dream job just miles away from my home and I was not there to apply or even know about it!

I have always dreamed of being a "Big-Time" band director, teaching high school or college and here I sit just longing to teach ANY type of band. I feel so anxious and am yearning to be on the podium once more. I know I just have to relax and trust God to open the right door. But that is easier said than done!
I realize it is only May and several weeks remain in the prime time job hunt but I am feeling defeated and as if I will not be able to locate a band job. I have my name in several different schools and programs in the North Houston metro area but have yet to hear anything from any of them. Some of them have implied they may not interview until school in out (Second week of June) but I am getting restless.
I really REALLY want to teach band again and I feel as if that is where God has called me to be and teach. I am anxiously waiting for Him to open and close doors but once again, I am failing at the PATIENCE game. As my dad ALWAYS says, "This is a FAITH issue. Trust Him and He will do the rest". I do currently have a job and even though I am not satisfied with it and have basically become burnt out of teaching because of it, I do have a job so that is a good thing.
Please continue to pray for me as I strive to find a band teaching job. I pray that God will open my eyes to His plan and help me and guide me in the way HE wants me to go. I covet your prayers!
Even in a time of waiting...


Beach Day- May 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013
First Family of Four Trip to the Beach
Stewart's Beach- Galveston Island, TX

What a wonderful and beautiful day to visit the beach. It was a nice 88* and the overcast and breeze made it a very pleasant experience. My Cousin, Curtis, and his family were visiting my mom and dad in Tyler and decided since they had never been to the beach before, they would travel down to Galveston on Saturday. Since they were practically driving right by our house and we only live less than 1.5 hours from the beach, we decided to trek on down there and enjoy the day with them.

It was so good to see Curtis and his family. I don't think I have seen them since October of 2010 at my grandmother's wedding. And before then it would have been my own wedding in March of 2006. It is hard to believe how big his kids have gotten. I realized that his kids were teenagers by pure mathematics but seeing them live and in person made me realize how old I was getting. I swear Tristan was just Natalie's age and Emilee was just a baby! That is how I remember them... WOW! They are not that small anymore. Tristan, and Emilee for that matter, were both taller than me and Tristan was creeping up on Chris and Curtis' heights! They both were so smart and bright and it was good to get to know them as teenagers. Shelly, Curtis' wife, was also a pleasure to talk to and I miss being able to talk to her on a frequent basis. Curtis and I were the oldest of all the grandchild on my mom's side and we kinda always had a special bond because of this! I miss seeing and talking to him too!

Daddy and Luke at the beach
While at the beach, Natalie and Luke once again showed how different they really are. Chris and I predicted that since Luke was so active and mobile he would LOVE the water and the waves. We took Natalie to Galveston for the first time when she was this age and she went CRAZY! She could not walk by herself yet but she LOVED the waves and water and we practically had to pry her away!

Luke... was not like that at all. When we first arrived he was enjoying the sand but as soon as we took him out to the water, he hated it! I think he was scared and not sure what was going on. He likes the water in the bath at our house but at Gigi Shirley's house and anywhere else he hates bath. Still Chris and I figured he would love the beach and I even imagined me having to chase him down the beach. Instead he was a little frightened by the water, but he did love the sand. Once we fed him and got him all sunscreen-ed up, he was ready to go. He did however like to eat the sand toys. He had one shovel in particular that he seemed to want to always have in his hands and mouth.

Luke eating the sand toys!

Luke LOVED playing the sand!
Luke trying to help Tristan build a sand castle

While we all stopped to eat lunch, Luke decided he would have a ham SANDwich! He took his ham and shoved it in his mouth like usual but when it hit the ground, that was ok to him, he just picked it up and continued to eat it! This drove me crazy but the more I tried to keep everything nice and clean, the more things went wrong and he would just continue to cry and whine. Chris said to just "let him be a boy" and as soon as I did this, all was well. He ventured over to our snack bag and got out the Oreos and starting running down the beach as if he knew he had stole them. I opened them and gave him one and that too was almost immediately covered in sand! None the less, he LOVED it!

Luke eating the Oreo he tried so hard to get

He started digging in the sand with Tristan and Poppy and loved tearing up sandcastles after Natalie put them together!

Poppy and his grandkids playing in the sand

Luke playing in the sand!

Natalie on the other hand had the TIME OF HER LIFE! She loved playing the sand more than usual and was able to fill the sand buckets and actually create a sandcastle. She also learned from Cousin Curtis that she could be buried in the sand. And of course, against all of mommy's wishes, she asked Daddy and Gigi Shirley to bury her in the sand at the end of the trip! Her and Gig had so much fun out in the ocean chasing the waves and screaming at them as they came in. I remember the one and only time I went out into the ocean with Chris. I kept hearing her scream and I wanted to go and check on her but this was a fun scream. She absolutely LOVED it! In fact, on our way out she said "Mommy, I want to come back for my birthday!" She loves the beach and will forever be my BEACH BABY!

Natalie and Gigi Shirley in the ocean

Natalie playing in the sand and building sandcastles

Daddy and Gigi Shirley burying Natalie in the sand
Mission Complete! Natalie is buried in the sand!

Chris and I too had fun but despite me being a crazy anal mom about putting sunscreen on my kids, I failed to put enough on myself. I used a small amount from the last of 1 tube of sunscreen on my left shoulder and back but failed to go and get the new tube and re-apply to my right side and even apply a 2nd coat. After about 3 hours, I could feel the heat coming from the top half of my body! At this point, it was too late! The DAMAGE was done! I am a LOBSTER on my shoulders and top of my back! Even though I stayed under the umbrella 60% of the time, I am still feeling the burn. I think it is going to be a long road to recovery! NOT FUN!

I think for future trips to the beach we will invest in a large "Tail-gating" canopy and camping chairs. This will give us plenty of sun coverage as well as seating for numerous people. We spent $60 on rentals for 4 chairs and 2 beach umbrellas but the cost of the canopy and other minor supplies would balance that out and pay for itself within 1 trip! I think with the BEACH BABY in Natalie and the SAND GNAT in Luke, we will need to make these investments!

We had a great time with Family and hope to be able to come back soon!



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Growing Boy: Month 10

Friday, April 12, 2013
It is hard to believe that in 2 short months I will have a 1 YEAR old! It seems as if only yesterday I was holding my tiny little baby boy for the first time. God has blessed me so much these past 10 months and I cannot wait to see how He will continue to bless my family and I the following 10 years and then some!
As always, Mr. Luke has been on the move and in to trouble this past month! That is just going to be his personality, I'm sure! This month he took his first steps on his own and has been crawling to the stairs to try to climb up! He loves crawling over there and then screaming until you come and see what's going on then smiling and grinning with excitement like "Haha... look mom, I made you look!" He is such a little stinker!
This particular month, more than previous months, he has looked more at the food we and especially Natalie are eating and crying til we give him some. He loves our crackers and breads. I just recently tried to give him deli meat and tiny bites of hot dogs! He loved both of those and would just grin and grin eating "Big People" food! Either way, he is still eating us out of house and home. I have to send 2+ containers of baby food to school each day and in the evenings he will eat 3 containers of food at dinner and then a LARGE bowl of rice cereal before we put him to bed! I have to wonder if he is still only in the 30% for weight! I am sure he has gained some ground there because he is eating and eating and EATING!
He still LOVES his swing to sleep in and we have been having a hard time trying to get him to nap in his crib! He is improving nightly with sleeping in his crib during the night but he doesn't want ANYTHING to do with it during the day! In fact, the past week I have been able to put him down while he is still awake or half-asleep and he will cry maybe 10 seconds and then go to sleep on his own. This is the exact OPPOSITE of what Natalie used to do. Haha... we had to Ferberize her! I am hoping he wont force us to do that with him! He still naps 2-3 times a day but again, they are in the swing. I am hoping between us and MDO we can get him to start sleeping in his crib for all his naps!
Since he has taken steps on his own now, he wants more and more to follow Natalie and chase her around. He loves her SO much and wants to be with her ALL THE TIME! Natalie will be doing a puzzle with Chris or I and Luke will come over and just destroy it. Natalie of course then cries and Luke just looks at her and laughs... But then he starts to cry too! Chris and I each take a child and within minutes they are ok but it is amazing how much Luke wants to be with and be LIKE Natalie! I cannot wait to see what this sibling relationship will be like when they are bigger!
I am so very blessed and I thank God for His blessings each and every day! I have always dreamed of having a little boy and girl but NEVER in my wildest dreams did I expect these perfect angels! I am so very lucky! Two months from now we will be celebrating Luke's first year of life and looking back at how far he has come in the past year! I think we need to slow down a little bit PLEASE!
God is good... ALL THE TIME!

Mother's Day 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013
Today marks my 4th Mother's Day and once again, I am reminded of how blessed I really am. This morning Baby Luke was dedicated at Mims Baptist Church and this was a very special in my family's lives. It brings me back to 5+ years ago when I sat in church nearly in tears longing for a baby! In fact, Bro. Gene preached from a passage that became the backbone of my prayer life in 2008!
The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth was proving to be more and more true of Chris and I (Except for the old age... we were still "young" but seemed to be getting old with each passing cycle and no baby) and we would read and review this passage numerous times daily as a reminder of God's continued faith! This story is found in Luke 1:
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
I kept thinking "Lord, you provided these two Godly people with a child. Why cant you provide me with a  child?" Selfishly, I was thinking about me and my happiness and as most people, even the best of Christians do this, I was also thinking about MY TIME and not God's Time!
The time had passed and it had been over a year since Chris and I started "trying". I remember this day like it was yesterday. I had become more and more discouraged as each month came and went and no pregnancy. It was early October on a Sunday morning and I had just completed playing the church orchestra. Bro. Todd Fisher was preaching a sermon on "The right way to pray" and as a preacher's kid, I naturally thought "yeah, I have heard this one before" and started to drift away during his sermon. God immediately pulled me into this sermon with an illustration by Bro. Todd. My hardened heart was being molded in the next to last row of the auditorium and tears began to fall from my cheeks as he continued to preach. I remember Chris just reaching over and holding my hand and putting his arm around me not even knowing why I was crying. Bro. Todd continued the sermon and each word that came out of his mouth seemed as if he was speaking directly to ME!  I remember bowing on my knees there in my pew during the invitation and I could literally hear God's small voice tell me "Kellie, keep the faith! I will take care of you." He never told me I would have a child but He told me to "Keep the Faith". These words really spoke to me and I left that worship service completely changed.
Another month's cycle came and went and still no pregnancy but this time I was not as depressed as usual and I continued with my daily and weekly routine with no emotional issue. I kept replaying God's small voice words in my head and this helped me get through the day! Chris and I continued to pray numerous times daily and I continued to read the passage above and know that He would take care of me! In November of 2008, we found out that after 15 months of "trying to conceive" we were pregnant with Natalie Grace.

Natalie Grace Davis- August 25, 2009
One of the GREATEST days of my life...

I sat in the service yesterday, May 12, 2013 and cried as Bro. Gene read from this passage and spoke of being a "Good Ol' Fashioned Mom". I remember wanting a child so badly those 4-5 years ago and here I sit on my 4th Mother's Day having just dedicate my SON to The Lord for a good Christian upbringing! That Sunday morning in October of 2008 as I sat there and heard the voice of The Lord speak to me "I will take care of you", I never imagined this beautiful life as a mother and I am eternally grateful to Him for allowing me to be Natalie Grace and David Luke's Mom!

David Luke Davis- June 12, 2012
A moment I had waited for SO LONG!
I have now dedicated both of my children to The Lord and I have made a commitment to be the best Christian Mother I can be! I will continue to need help and guidance from The Lord to help me be the best I can be but I know He will Take Care of Me!

Thank you Lord, for your continued blessings! This has been the best Mother's Day yet!

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!