stories 2017 | then there is math


Many years ago, when I was in 8th grade, I had been placed in a higher level math class where I was challenged with pre-algebra and because I had done well enough and showed potential for mathematics, it was recommended I continue on in my math studies. Thus, as a new student to high school in my 9th grade year I signed up for Algebra I without any qualms of finishing strong and doing well. Even then I fully expected to continue on with Geometry and Algebra II, at a minimum, while in my secondary education studies.

The first semester went satisfactorily. I enjoyed Algebra, but found it was necessary for me to complete all the practice work to grasp the formulas and problems.

But, towards the end of the semester I noticed Algebra becoming exceedingly difficult for me to grasp. I did not hesitate to ask questions in class and, at first, this wasn't a problem.

When the second semester rolled around and we returned to classes from Christmas break, having a few weeks off of school, and Algebra becoming noticeably more difficult, I didn't enter the second half with as much aplomb. Rather, I was anxious.

My teacher was an older gentleman (who was probably only in his 40's but a 9th grader always sees someone in their 40's as really old) who shall remain nameless (only because I don't remember his name), who had begun, with me alone, the most frustrating and humiliating endeaovr any teacher could ever do with his student. To this day I'm mystified as to why.

Every time I asked a question he would laugh.

Early on in the second half of the semester, he'd answer the question but it would be succeeded with a chuckle. The chuckle and laugh became the routine. I would raise my hand during class because I had a question. He would chuckle or laugh.

Then, after a couple months, when I would raise my hand he wouldn't only chuckle and laugh, he just wouldn't call on me.

So - I stopped asking questions.

My grades plummeted. I finished the semester with a D. Because I had made an A in the first semester I finished the year with a B-, but that year of Algebra finished me for math. All those years ago, there was only a two- math requirement to graduate. Rather than continue on to Geometry or Algebra II, instead, I took Business Math.

In my first year of community college I didn't even take a math class. I filled the semester with degree-related classes, instead, though not something a student could do now. Because I joined the military after my first year of college I didn't have to decide when math would be on my class schedule. But,

My mindset had already shifted.

I no longer believed I was capable of math.

Several years later, when I attended weather forecasting school, I struggled with the only math-related block of study - physics. Those old feelings of hating math, believing I was incapable of grasping the concepts rushed to the surface and, embarrassingly, I even had to re-take the four-week block. But, the second time around was different. I had figured things out. Physics wasn't impossible for me to grasp.

It just took me more time to grasp the concepts.

It was a dimly lit lightbulb. Dimly. Yet, lit.

Then, several years after that I decided I should finish my degree, changing majors from criminal justice to meteorology. While the degree required meteorology-related classes that involved math, I was only required to take two levels of math. Heading back into college I kept the semesters filled with everything but math. I even took statistical climatology before I finally had to think about a math class if I wanted to finish my bachelor's degree.

Then, finally, having enrolled at a local university to finish all the core classes I'd never completed over the past 10 years of piecemealing a degree together, in the spring semester I had to take College Algebra I. And,

I had grown up.

I was in my 40's and while high school 9th Algebra was in my mind, it was in the back of my mind. Not front and center. Over the years, successfully completing class after class, as an older-age adult, I no longer believed I couldn't make it through Algebra I. Somewhere along the way that lightbulb had brightened with each passing success.

I knew it would be difficult, but I already figured out I have to practice math if I'm going to - get it.

I finished the semester with a B.

I was down to one class to finish my bachelor's degree. Calculus I. When I said I only needed two math classes to finish my degree I didn't mention that one of them had to be Calculus.

Because I desperately wanted to finish my degree I took a Calculus class on the summer semester schedule.

An entire 4-month class, in 8-weeks.

But, here's the deal. I was older and wiser. My mindset had shifted. My focus was on point. Okay, 8 weeks was going to be a bear, crazy, unbelievably difficult, plus...It. Was. Calculus.

It was one class. My focus was calculus. I did all the practice problems. If I didn't understand something I asked the professor. She answered all my questions. I remember the first time she said, "That's a great question!" and proceeded to explain the problem further on the board, I was ecstatic! I smiled the rest of class. My professor was teaching college as her night job.

Her day job was a high school math teacher.

I also remember the first test I made a 100% on. I was the only student who made a 100% that day.

I finished my 8-week college Calculus I class with an 89.3% grade point average. I was .7% from an A. 


stories 2017 | I see you being brave


Tybee Island, July 3, 2017  |  Because I knew he would need to acclimate himself to the sounds of the sea, to the shifting sand under his feet, and to the crashing waves, so I went out with Ian to the water's edge, and stayed close. All the while I talked gently with him, making everything happy and content. Pretty soon he found his brave.

I am beginning the long list of stories I want to tell about when all four of my kids were home and all my grandchildren were together with us. So many stories to share. So many pages to create. I am planning on doing a mix, I imagine, of both 6 x 8 and 12 x 12 sized pages all of which will go in our Stories 2017 album.


what I've been reading | july


Today, I am sharing all the glorious books I have been reading lately and I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy Quick Lit where you can find, even more, great reading possibilities. I adore this time of the month where I visually compile everything I've read here on the blog and permanently document what I've been reading with a scrapbooking page for my annual albums. I get to combine two great loves: scrapbooking and reading.

And, here it is the middle of July and I have already read over half of my goal and checking off more on my 2017 Reading Challenge. I am a bit slim on reading as I have had a house full of family for the past couple of weeks so reading has been low on the priority list.

41b4qt4fZgLLove Lives Here by Maria Goff. I have mixed feelings about Love Lives Here. Parts I adored and parts were just hoo hum, bland, and uninspiring. The first chapters were breathtaking and then many of the stories following fell flat, interspersed with a few bold, poignant statements or paragraphs. There was enough here and there to make me hold on but I'm not sure what my take away of this book, is. 48/100

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. After I moved past the unusual 51+mO5tlK6Lbeginning - the letter writing - or what I thought was just in the beginning - and realized the entire book was letters, I became engrossed in the conversation between so many different and delightful characters I couldn't put this book down. The idea is brilliant and I loved this story told through only letter writing. 49/100

41lREceTIXLStill Life by Louise Penny. The debut novel in the Inspector Armand Gamache series and, I hope, another beloved series. I wasn't even half way through the book and I was already thinking I would definitely be reading the next in the series. 50/100

Unshaken, a Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. This beautiful novella is the story of 41h69jzmtdLRuth, the Moabitess, who by God's grace is in the lineage of Jesus, the Christ. Rivers, remaining true to scripture, yet with plausible liberties, offered a storied life of how Ruth became one of the most beloved women of the Bible and a great, great, great....grandmother of Jesus. 51/100



Naked In Death by J.D. Robb. While it's true I have already read Naked in Death, it is, however, a check in a box on my 2017 Reading Challenge list, read a book you have already read.

Hell's Corner by David Baldacci. A bit out of order, as I usually like to begin a series of books from - well - the 51yq3E1DZ1L beginning. But when I picked it up from the bookshelf they have at my work I didn't realize it was the fifth in a series. I enjoy well-written counterintelligence suspense novels and this one does not disappoint. While I certainly believe reading a series in order is best I haven't been concerned by anything I might have missed as Hell's Corner reads much like a stand-alone book. 52/100


All the other books I've read this year can be found here: January  |  February  |  March  |  April  |  May  |  June

Project Life 2017 | Week 25


You might have noticed that I have skipped slash missed a week here and there. Weeks' 17, 18, & 24 (two weeks ago). I have even completed several one-page weeks when I've had fewer photos. All this said, I have no worries about missing the weeks, and guilt-free about completing one versus two-page spreads.

We are still adjusting to Jeff's out of town work, me more so than Jeff, I think. Planning a weekend to join him instead of him coming home for a change of pace, plus I can visit his jobsite.

I had fun putting these pages together with a mini-eventful week. From Jarrod alphabetizing our over a thousand DVDs of movies and television shows, taking them out of their individual cases, and then inserting them into three single cases that hold over 500 each. This bit of organization sends me to a happy place.


I have also been 'practicing' Whole 30 off and on, trying out meals that are Whole 30 compliant to prepare me for my Whole 30 start date which begins July 10th. I'll be sharing here and on a Facebook Whole 30 local group about my progress. The meal above of chicken and vegetables will definitely go on my Whole 30 dinner rotations during those 30 days of eating whole and clean.

After work one afternoon, I went to the movies! By myself! I watched Wonder Woman which was fantastic! The theatre I went to and that Wonder Woman was showing in at 2:10 in the afternoon had recliner seats with tray tables and big aisles. It was wonderful watching a movie in the theatre, relaxing, with my feet propped up.

I have read some great books lately, but, one of my favorites thus far this year is definitely The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Such rich history written entirely through letters. A delightful story line. This book is vying for the top spot of favorite book read in 2017.


While Jeff was home we watched Lone Survivor, in memorial of those who lost their lives on June 28, 2005, many who were in Jeff's former military unit. We bawled our eyes out.

We made some delightful additions to our front porch: a few pillows, an outdoor rug, and two umbrellas. We've already enjoyed some wonderful, relaxing conversation - and time away from distractions - on our porch.

Project Life 2017 | Week 23


This was a tough week emotionally and just physically, too. Body is betraying me. So is my heart at times. I still documented our week, though. I completed another one-page spread and I am pleased as punch with the results. Jeff takes pictures occasionally, through the week and I try and grab a couple.

He came home around dinner on Saturday so we were able to make a dinner date night out at Crystal Beer Parlor, a favorite eatery downtown.

Digitally, I used mostly One Little Bird Designs, again. Because, I am trying to use the digital products I've acquired.